Cycling fitness – the Winter decline

Summer, long bright evenings, plenty of opportunity to get out on the Bicycle without the time consuming Winter ritual of checking the Weather forecast and checking the Cycling Wardrobe to find the perfect layering option for the conditions.

Summer Cycling is simple, Jersey, Shorts, Helmet, Mitts and off you go. Getting the miles in, and with that regularity comes a boost in Cycling fitness. From the start of the Year, through Spring and the great Spring Sixty Sportive onwards in to Summer and my Cycling fitness peaks out each year in August.

From there right through until Spring again the fitness trends downwards at a depressing rate. Less opportunity to get out on the Bicycle, more excuses in the head due to adverse Weather etc and the fitness plummets.

At the tail-end of 2017 I undertook the Rapha Festive 500 challenge, it forced me to get outside each day and chase the 500 Kilometre target. That act of getting out daily on the Bike incurred a lot of training stress on my body [downwards Yellow line in the image below].

But with the stress load came a boost in fitness, that Blue line stopped trending downwards turned around and started to climb upwards again.

Former Pro Cyclist Eddy Merckx once famously said…

and it is true, toughen up, get out there more frequently, be more consistent and the Cycling fitness will stop trending downwards and start to trend back upwards again. Since then I have only ridden indoors on the Hamster Wheel and that Blue line is trending downwards again. It is a never ending battle.

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