Off season is officially over as I am now headed toward Siena to race the first round of Women World Tour, Strade Bianche.
Such a good feeling to have a race in my home country, and what a race!
I am quite sure everyone loves this part of Italy; Tuscany, because of the beautiful landscapes, tasty food and (usually) lovely weather.
This year however, weather is playing a strange game and it looks like winter doesn’t want to leave us too early.
Meteo forecast for Strade Bianche suggests it’s going to be a cold and wet day, with sticky gravel sections to make it an even more challenging and epic course.
As a professional, where racing my bike is a job, I do not often follow the easiest choice to stay inside when the weather isn’t really appropriate for a bike ride, but for sure I would lie if I tell you that I am super motivated to get my training done when outside it is cold and rainy.
However, I know that in tough conditions you can have the most important trainings and that if you want to perform well you need to get that miles done.
So, how to keep the motivation high and brave the elements?
Here a few tips from my little experience 🙂
- Buy some high quality clothes. Personally, I am racing with Rapha clothes for three years now and, even if this is not an advertisement, I tested almost all their products and I trust my cycling clothes when it comes to rain or super cold. I would suggest to pay even more attention to hands and feet, using appropriate gloves and shoe covers. There are plenty of options out in the market, for every kind of need. Pedalling with warm feet will make your training more enjoyable and you will also push more watts 🙂
- If the motivation is lacking but you need to go out and do that efforts, promise yourself something nice for when you have accomplished your training. It can be any kind of treat: going to the SPA as a reward for your grit, having a yummy slice of cake when you come back or even buy those shoes you really wanted. Sometimes it’s good to have a different reason to do that effort!
- If the weather turns really bad and it is really impossible to ride your bike outside, there are still plenty of options to do your training indoors. Rollers or trainers are the best way to replace your outdoor workout and if you are scared of getting bored, you can have a ride with a friend or new people on Go Zwift in a hilly course.
- Do not be too stressed or focused about riding.only.your.bike. Cycling is an amazing sport that can bring you to beautiful places but if external factors are making it a risky activity, you can always find something else to do. What about a swim or a bit of jogging during wet or cold days?
My rain bag is ready for Strade Bianche, maybe in few years I will think that there was no other race better than this to have a rainy and cold day on the bike… Mud I am coming for you!!!