With the days still short, spring can feel like a long way off. So put the long, dark nights to good use before the new season arrives with these three tips from mountain bike coach Chris Kilmurray.
1. Build your base
The aim here is to build strength and control through full ranges of movement via big, compound movements (when you work more than one muscle group simultaneously).
Start with bodyweight exercises first, if that’s your level, and progress to bigger loads via barbell, kettlebell and dumbbells.
Practice squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, deadlifts and carrying heavy weights, and reap the benefits on the trails.
2. Be consistent
Consistency is key to improving and maintaining health and fitness.
Take the winter months to master a mobility, stretching or yoga routine. Practice it regularly so (a) you reap the benefits in the short term and (b) it becomes a simple, repeatable part of your training when the longer summer days come and you want to ride more than train.
3. Get into good habits
Winter’s a good time to make lifestyle changes. For many people this can mean getting better at simple tasks such as cooking or relaxing.
Improve your performance in the long term by learning to prepare simple, high quality, nutritious meals.
Try implementing a ‘no electronics half an hour before bed’ rule and see how it can positively impact your wellbeing.
Use the darker days to try new approaches and solidify good habits.