Personal Training. Week 9: Wet Weather Riding
Hello and welcome to the ADAM COPLEY: PERSONAL TRAINING weekly blog.
Here you will find weekly updates designed to educate you on strength and conditioning for cycling. Over the coming weeks I will be covering all aspects of conditioning your body for cycling and how it can benefit you in terms of comfort, speed, and improving your riding. So, without further delay. Let’s get right into this week’s entry!
Well, the weather has taken a turn hasn’t it. And if you’re like me, this won’t matter one bit to you. You will simply put a jacket on and crack on. But, some people don’t like riding in the rain. Which isn’t a big issue. But it is important to remember that riding in the rain can be good for both fitness and skill so. Let’s get into todays blog: 3 ways riding in the rain can improve your riding:
1: Fitness and efficiency
Riding in the rain makes you fitter? Well, no but. The trails are no doubt harder to ride if you like your natural stuff, the rocks are slipper, roots want to catch you out for over spinning and you have to slog through the mud. Part of fitness is developing efficiency on the bike and riding in the rain can help you do this. Learning how to efficiently deliver power is key to getting up slippy ascents when it seems everything wants to spin you out.
Use the wet weather as a way to train yourself at making slower, more consistent pedal strokes on the bike and you will see your climbing ability improve.
This is a key thing in the winter when the trails are sloppy. I like to shorten my rides as I know it’s going to be harder where I ride. So plan something that will be a challenge, and use it to develop efficiency on the bike.
2: Bike control
No one likes losing momentum, even if you aren’t having huge crashes it gets frustrated slipping on roots and putting your feet down all the time. Riding in the rain is a great way to improve this. So instead of getting annoyed when you can’t keep momentum. Shift you focus from hammering it down trails to working on improving your bike control. Try and clean a section rather than just power through it. Look at what you are doing wrong and work on improving this.
Nothing improves your confidence and bike control skills more than getting used to riding wet roots and rocks. Learning how your bike moves around on them and how you can move to counter this is a key part of riding. Especially in the UK.
Learn this, apply it and then you will improve your pace.
3: Character building
It had to be in there. Riding in the rain is character building and really gives you a sense of completion when you return from a ride in tough conditions. That sense of “I really didn’t want to go out, but I did it! And I know I can do it again” is almost as rewarding as completing a climb for the first time.
Obviously, this comes with a degree of common sense. If it’s full on p*&sing it down don’t put lycra on and expect to have a nice time. But getting out in the wet condition is brilliant for your mental health. Providing you with a sense of achievement and improving your skill at the same time.
And there you go, three ways riding in the rain can Be a positive experience. Remember to apply some common sense to your wet rides and wear appropriate clothing, expect your times to be slower and treat it as an improvement session.
It’s actually great fun riding in the rain if you do that!
Grab your coat, get out and ride!