We get a lot of it in the UK. Weather. When it’s fine our motivation to get out on the bike is high, when it’s cold, wet and windy we want to stay at home.
Benefits of exercise outdoors
You intuitively know outdoor exercise is good for you – the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, even getting a bit damp but then coming back in to a warm house and a warm bath make you feel wonderful afterwards. It’s backed up by evidence, too. Plus, vitamin D!
No such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing
But how do you motivate yourself and prepare yourself to go out when it’s wet and windy and maybe cold? Firstly,
“failing to prepare is preparing to fail”
If you’re training and you have to go out and clock up your scheduled ride you know you could get on the indoor bike or turbo trainer instead (and sometimes discretion is the better part of valour), but start preparing yourself and you might even get out of the door. This video is sage advice and don’t forget it’s rare to experience it raining as hard on you as it looks through the window!
Get the right bike set up, the right clothing and plan your route and just get out of the door. You can tell yourself you’re only going to do 10 miles and you might end up enjoying it and doing the loop twice!
Don’t forget safety when you’re cycling in the rain. This is in the preparation as well as the execution. Rain tends to wash puncture-inducing items onto the road so make sure you have a spare inner tube and know how to change it quickly. The right clothing is about safety as well as comfort – denim and cotton get wet and stay cold and wet – you might not want to be a “MAMIL” but there are sound reasons why the gear is used. This video helps with braking technique in the wet and this one covers the rest of the issues – drop your tyre pressure would be my top tip!
Amazingly, now we’re in April, we’ve got really good weather – so there’s no excuse not to be out there! But if the famed April showers do come along, we’ll still see you out there 🙂