Bad weather can form a barrier to fuelling during training. Whether you have lots of winter layers on or your visibility is poor, don't let this prevent you from getting in the necessary fuel to continue training at a high level. We have some top practical tips to break down these barriers.
Reaching for a sip of your bottle when it’s cold can often result in an unwanted ‘brain freeze’ sensation and then after that, you don’t fancy having another swig. Why not try making up your bottles with warm water. Ok inevitably they will end up cold again if you are outside for a good few hours, but at least you’re delaying the cold bottle situation.
Try our blackcurrant energy drink made up with hot water for a warming energy boost during your next cold training session.
Under layers of winter kit, it can be very difficult to get your hands to your pocket and get access to that much-needed food.
Make it as easy as possible for yourself by putting your food in easy to reach places. Up the front of your jersey is a good idea (this often stops the food from getting overly cold and inedible) or in the pockets of your outer layer. Also, try slightly opening the packaging before you start, so you should be able to get into it easily with your teeth instead of fumbling around with big winter gloves.
Be wise when selecting food to take with you during winter training. Anything that doesn’t cope well in the cold and goes really hard isn’t ideal. Try something like our Chocolate Duo Bar that is easy to eat and chew. Another good tip is to make sure your food is cut into bite sizes pieces before you set off. Another way to make fuelling quick and simple so it doesn’t impact your training.
Struggle to eat full stop when it’s cold? It’s definitely worth having one bottle full of energy drink. It is quick and simple to just keep sipping on your bottle to stay on top of energy and hydration levels.
Now you may think hydration isn’t really an issue when it’s cold outside and that you don’t sweat much. Actually, you sweat just as much! Under all your many layers of kit, you create a little microclimate which is very hot and therefore you sweat. Have a feel of your base layer next time you get back from your winter ride and we think you’ll find it’s saturated!
After a hard winter training session, you can feel extra drained. Frozen feet and hands; your main priority is probably to get warm as soon as possible. But did you know that there is an optimal "window of opportunity" in which to kick start the recovery process? Within 30 minutes of finishing your training, it’s important to try and have your recovery drink or snack. So to prevent missing out on this when you get home, we suggest having your recovery drink or snack prepared and ready to consume straight away. This could be putting your shake in the fridge ready-made or having a sandwich made up ready, or at very least just having ingredients readily available.
You can never tell how bad the cold weather is going to hit you when training, and how it may change once you’ve left the door. A day that may seem fine, may hit you with a freezing cold rain downpour within the next hour. We always suggest taking an emergency energy gel in your back pocket. Having that quick boost of energy to call upon in times of need maybe just what you need to get you home.