For those of us in the northern hemisphere the summer now feels like a distant warm memory. A few months ago if you were setting out for a Fondo ride, you probably would have risked bare legs, and you could leave the house with your jersey pockets free from extra clothing.
But the cold, wind and rain are now firmly here, and the tights and jackets are essential ride companions. The nights have drawn in and, having achieved your season’s goals, the motivation to ride can run low. It can be difficult to force yourself out when you’d rather be in front of the fire or in a nice cosy bar.
Here’s our guide to using Strava as an inspiration to keep riding over the winter.
Set Some Goals
That might mean something big for next year – a winter boot camp, early-season sportive or cycling holiday – for which regular winter training will pay dividends. Or think smaller. What will get you riding regularly – a certain weekly distance target, or a time to beat on a favourite segment close to home? Set a goal on Strava that will help you keep your mind focused – with Strava Premium you can set weekly goals through your profile on the website or on your mobile device.
Participate in a Club
Strava clubs are a great place to swap ideas, make plans and find riding buddies. Even if you only want a 30km ride to your favourite café and back, for a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich, you’re bound to find people who want to join. It’s much less difficult getting out of bed when you know there’s someone waiting for you, and you know that you’ll be able to see your clubmates achievements on a leaderboard each week!
Summer is the time to ride fast, autumn is the time to ride long and winter is the time to ride deep. Because you may think you know your local area well, but winter is a great time to explore it in more depth. In winter there’s no need to stray far from home – it’s not wimping out if you want the option of a quick ride back to a hot shower and a steaming bowl of soup! – but explore all the roads, trails and back alleys you don’t usually take. Find a new way out of town, a short cut to your favourite hill or a new loop through the park. Turn left instead of right and see where it takes you. The Strava Route Builder is a good tool for making new rides – following a GPS means you can always be sure you’re heading where you intended, even in unfamiliar surroundings. Plus there’s a heatmap function too, which shows you the popular roads and segments where other people in your area are riding. Follow someone else’s nose for a change, not your own.
For Strava Premium users who really can’t make it outside there’s always Strava Training Videos, which are available online and via the ‘More’ button in the mobile app. Powered by The Sufferfest, Strava’s cycling videos use real race footage to make your turbo trainer session more interesting, yet structure the workout perfectly so that you benefit as much as possible from your indoor training. There are also core training videos and hints and tips for Strava runners.
Don’t forget to #stravaproveit to your friends: upload your activities to Strava, Instagram your ride photos and share your achievements on social media.