Winter Training

05 February 2015

As I write this I can see the snow on the hills and thinking about going
out and what I would take with me. I think that winter training has its ups
and downs but mostly ups. Cycling through winter is probably one of the most
dangerous as you are out on the roads and it can get quiet slippy. As most
of my cycle training is my commute to work I have two options and that’s to
either go over Whinlatter Pass and through Loweswater or to take the A66 which
is longer but flat. This time of year I tend to stick to the A66 for the most part
as it proves to be safer as its gritted and less chance to be covered in snow.
Now we are moving into February I can also see a progression in lighter
mornings and evenings which is also motivates me to keep it up as summer is
just around the corner.
Two weeks ago I suffered a setback which I thought was going to put me off
the bike for some time. Cycling into work I hit some black ice and subsequently
fell onto my left hand fracturing the 5th Metacarpal. The doctor said it could
take a health person as little as two weeks to heal. 6 days later I was back
on the bike. Yes there was a bit of pain at first but readjusting my handle
bars to a more upright position solved this. After another week I have now
put 200 miles on my bike and my hand is healing up nicely. I always say that
running is my weakness so I took it as a sign that I had to do more running.
As the KMF Long triathlon has a fell run rather than a flat run I am
concentrating most of my runs in the hills where I can. This proves more
difficult when I am running through my lunch times at work as there aren’t any
hills close enough. I just run round the park and do sprint training and then
save my weekly long run for the weekend where I can hit the hills.
My weekly swim in the lake has been put on hold for a couple of because of my
fracture but I am hoping to get back in this Sunday so I will probably get a
shock of how cold it is, although last time I swam it was 3.8 degrees Celsius.
This so far has been my coldest swim but with recent weather I am expecting a
near freezing temperature on Sunday. At this time of year I am wearing a full
wet suite with thermals with gloves and boots. Not forgetting a thermal hood
this is the best option for me as I get cold really easy. I don’t recommend just
jumping in a cold lake in winter is is something I have kept up weekly from
summer and gradually gotten used to. That said I still feel every icy cold
drop on my skin and it still hurts to put my head under water for the first
time. But I now know that pain only lasts a short while before it starts to
become almost painless.

January totals

    Swim 3km Bike981km Run 42km
Top of Scawfell Pike
Dragging some lost people off the hills


Andy Nichol

Andy Nichol

My name is Andy I am 38 and have been a keen outdoor sports enthusiast all my life. I have never really competed before but recently decided to work on my fitness I have set myself a goal for the 2015 Keswick Mountain Festival Triathlon and want to not only compete but to get a decent result. Already I have cycled over 7000 miles this year but I really need to concentrate more on the other two disciplines.

  • Location: Keswick
  • Event entered: Long Triathlon
  • Favourite cake: Black Forest Gateau

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