11 Feb CAMS-Tifosi rider Gaby Shaw’s winter blog
With the latest lockdown in full swing, and the harsh reality of the British winter weather, it has been a challenging couple of months training here in Yorkshire.
Lately, I have been spending a lot more time at home than I’d usually be doing at this time of year due to the new restrictions and national lockdown. I work full time, so being busy has massively helped me cope with it all, plus juggling work and training means I must use my time wisely. Over the past few months, the extreme weather we have been having has made riding outside quite challenging and sometimes impossible. Personally, I love snow but after a couple of weeks it does make training and getting around rather difficult.
I’ve been trying to keep things exciting by varying my training with a mix of cross training, core work and alternative sessions when the conditions haven’t been great for cycling outdoors. With added motivation to start the season strong, I have been fitting my sessions in and around the weather as best as possible. When it has been icy and minus temperatures, I’ve found it easy to jump on the turbo and get a quality session done in the comfort of my own home and safe conditions. I think everyone is grateful for the platforms like RGT and Zwift throughout the past year but especially over these winter months.
I started running in the summer thanks to my work colleagues encouraging me to get involved in a Virtual Triathlon (which was actually a duathlon, no swimming). Having never run previously, other than round a football pitch when I was younger, I found it much harder and physically more demanding on the legs than cycling. After just four runs I completed a 15km run for the virtual event and vouched never to run that distance again! It’s really surprised me how I’ve taken to running, albeit shorter distances, and enjoying the adventure of trail runs. Whilst the roads have been covered in snow and ice, taking to the trails close to home has been great fun and quite refreshing. Exploring new trails on my doorstep has been something I usually would not do in a typical winter training block. I’ve definitely learnt in this past year that mixing things up outside of cycling is so important and I feel like I’ve found a really nice balance now. I must admit, I’ll only add the odd trail run into the mix once a week or even every other week, but even just that small change makes a difference.
A little bit of mountain biking, hiking and dog walking is where you will find me when I am not training on the road or stuck to the turbo. Being outdoors is where I’m happiest so regardless of the weather, in some way shape or form I’ll make sure I get out to enjoy the fresh air on a daily basis. Obviously following the government guidelines in doing so. I try to commute into work as much as possible and have become quite accustomed to riding in the dark. This is something I never used to like doing and I would try to avoid night rides, but needs must! Sometimes a longer ride on my way home is the only way to bank some more km’s during the week. Adapting my training around an ongoing injury has also been challenging at times but with great support around me from my teammates, support staff and my family, I’m continuing to train hard for the upcoming season.
This year we have some big plans as a team and have our fingers crossed that we can get back to racing as soon as it’s safe to do so. For the time being we’ll be sticking to our weekly Zoom calls and online meet ups but really hope we are all able to be reunited in the coming months.
Take care and hope to see you all out on the roads soon!