The start of a New Year is a good time to check in on your fitness level. Some of us will no doubt be getting the scales out too, after the excess of Christmas. What do you want from 2020?

I’m looking to enter a few races this year, my friend Amanda is working towards her bikini body. She says, ‘Summer bodies are made in the Winter!’ But how do you get past the hibernation inclination?

Cold weather training is affected by physiology. It’s obvious really, the increased blood flow from exercise which is normally going to the muscles, is competing with blood being shunted to the internal organs to maintain core temperature. I’ll long remember going mountain biking on a frosty day, when I and my friend Mark, who was a lot bigger build than me, literally ran out of energy within the hour. We just became ravenous, and no amount of energy bars was going to cut it.

Allied with the physiological effects of the cold in the Winter is the bacon fixation! What I mean is that there is an urge to comfort eat. There is less abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in season, so you tend to eat more packaged and processed foods.

Having given you the excuse to go back to bed and hibernate, remember that feeling when you work-out in the fresh air, increased oxygen circulates the body keeping your body working optimally, not to mention the endorphins – that feel-good factor keeps me coming back for more!

If you’ve been ‘nice’ and Santa has bought you a Power Meter, this could be the perfect time to work out your FTP, as an improvement over the next six weeks is pretty much a given! Take a look at ‘The Beginners Guide to Power’ blog post.

If you are going to get through the winter by turbo training take a quick look at ‘Cycling with Metrics’  as this defines Average Power and Normalised Power. The next post a beginner might find inspiring is:  ‘Using a Power Meter for smooth pacing’. Finally, if it’s all gone wrong over Christmas, and there’s a distinct muffin top popping over the top of your lycra shorts, take a look at ‘Power Meters & Calories’.


Happy New Year Folks!