-5degrees but it feels like -15degrees. Are you kidding?
No – Welcome to March 2018 in Europe! From the outside it may seem like I am constantly chasing Summer but days like those have meant I have had to learn how to get through the cold training days as I prepare for the season ahead.
Staying focused when you see those weather forecasts or getting the motivation to get out and get the training in can be hard. Every year I learn new ways to cope or lessons that make me better the next time the cold snap comes. The top tips I live by when it comes time to embrace the cold:
- Clothing choice is the obvious one. It’s better to wear a bit too much than not enough. Keeping your chest, feet and hands warm will be the biggest help. Even the simple old trick of newspaper down your front can work wonders for the downhills.
- Keep drinking! When it’s cold outside the last thing you feel like doing is drinking so it’s easy to become dehydrated without even realising. Hot iced tea or sports drink mixed with very hot water keeps you warm and tastes good.
- Find training buddies – good conversation can help to distract from the freezing temperatures.
- Don’t try to warm up too quickly once you’re back inside. I made this mistake this year and ended up suffering from chilblains on my feet. If you do suffer from sore feet or pressure points in the winter months the best advice I got this year is to purchase sheep wool. Place it around the affected areas before you ride – it works wonders.
- In the winter months the reality is that sometimes it’s just smarter to opt for the indoor trainer. For me, this is the ideal time to catch up on Netflix. I must admit that I haven’t become a Go Zwift addict (yet) but after seeing a couple of my teammates catch the Zwift bug this year, I can see how it makes what used to be tedious indoor sessions so much more fun and interesting.
“What are you going to wear today?” If I could get $2 for every time that question was asked before every Spring classic this year I would have made enough coffee money to get me through the entire season. Every year I feel like the cold will seem less cold and that I should be more used to it, yet I still have that feeling of surprise when it manages to chill my body from head to toe. It’s not a feeling I love, but I know keeping the focus for my goals will provide me with the motivation to get out there and get the hard work done – With L’Étape Australia just over four months away I hope you can do the same.
Always a team player, it is common to see Amanda sacrificing herself for her teammates.
The 2012 and 2016 Australian road race champion is known for her big heart and big engine. Amanda recorded her first European victory at the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige – Sudtirol in 2015 and has taken a big step up as a leader in the outfit following the retirement on Loes Gunnewijk.