I’m sitting here thinking about the winter ahead, as the sun shines, not a cloud in the sky and it is 17 degrees in the shade. I’m in Bristol 5 months already and I have only seen a few bad days of weather, but I’m sure there is plenty ahead. With plenty training to contemplate and a few goal races already lining up, it has been a nice few weeks since the CCC. I have met new people both at my new football club, The Retainer’s and also at my new running club Great Western Runners. I think it is so important to keep a social side to your training as well as a training plan to meet your own goals.
So what is happening this winter? A few cross country races, a little 74km ultra in Dorset and then a massive push to get my training in full swing for, well yes, for The Race 2019. Luckily this year it isn’t until the 23rd of March, meaning heaps of training time and maybe even an early season 50km somewhere to warm the blood. Oh and in the middle of all this I have to find a job.
(see last years race report, Dorset 2017)
I’m currently cycling around Bristol, feeding cats, looking for dogs to walk and will soon spend some of my time delivering food. Job applications, interviews etc are the most important thing this winter, but I won’t bore blog readers with these parts of life. Let’s stick to the fun bits!
I have been exploring Bristol on the bike a bit and started to bring my mileage up, slowly, in the last few weeks. The roads are busy so I am trying to find quieter routes. As for the hills, well it’s like as if they dropped Bristol on top of Donegal. Need I say anymore there!
I hope to join a gym and get back into some proper wattbike training soon, but for now I’ll stick to the roads and getting to know what lies in the Bristol countryside. I went for a trail run, only 20 minutes from the city with Emma, in Rowberrow, last Sunday, a gorgeous route along very technical trail and some hills thrown in. It was great to get the legs going on the trail, three weeks after the CCC. I went for a shorter mid week run on a trail near Bridgwater the week before. This was in the Quantock Hills. Again, some typical South West English farmland with rolling green hills and forestry here and there. Exploring the area little by little but it really has great running potential. My legs were still tired on this run but it was nice to get moving properly again.
So as the winter roles in and the temperatures start to drop, we have to drag ourselves out training at times. The body naturally feels more lethargic, with shorter days and needing more energy in the cold weather. However, as I mentioned before, I really see the winter as an excellent time to train, become stronger and if needed, a great time to work on injury or niggles. Treat it as a rehab, re-strengthen, learning period and come out the other side, fitter and stronger, mentally as well as physically. It is too easy drop all and blame the weather or the darkness. Stick on the headtorch, the hi-vis or scrape a few quid for the gym, whatever works for you and make the winter count.