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It doesn't matter how much time you have for training, or how gifted you are, there is one element that is present with every successful athlete, regardless of their sport: consistency.

Time and time again you hear of athletes who attribute their success to having had a good winter of training - uninterrupted by the weather, illness or injury. If you are an amateur athlete who competes in their spare time, it doesn't mean that you can't benefit from the same principles that the professionals live by.

It’s now winter in the UK and the weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse in the last week or so. It's not been the super cold winter of the last 2 years (so far) but we've had torrential rain and high winds - both of which are guaranteed to keep many riders off the roads. Some people I speak to who are new to cycling tell me they don’t like to ride when the weather is poor for one reason or another.

However, most of the perceived problems can be combated, by wearing appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. I realise this isn't rocket science, and I'm hardly teaching you anything new by making this point, but a rain jacket that doesn't keep out anything more than a 5 minute shower isn't really a rain jacket. If the number one goal is consistency, giving up your weekend ride every time it’s cold and wet isn’t going to result in a consistent block of training throughout the winter months.

Raceskin custom clothing has been worn and tested by professional athletes in extreme conditions. We use the latest technology and the highest quality fabrics to ensure all our garments provide the ultimate protection and comfort, to keep you training whatever the time of year. Your winter clothing should enable you to cycle in the worst conditions (although we wouldn't advocate cycling on the roads in several feet of snow) and protect you from the elements, so you remain relatively comfortable, and able to stay warm and dry enough to complete your training rides each week. 

How you can apply consistency during the next 12 - 24 months

In no particular order of importance:

  • Commit to practising the training activities that are your least favourite, until they are no longer a weakness or a chore.
  • Find a weekly training volume that you can manage on a weekly basis; it is better to do 10 hours per week for 10 weeks than 20 hours per week for 4 weeks and then 0 hours for the next 6 weeks because of illness or injury.
  • Try to develop a structure in your training where you can do the same sessions at the same time each week. These become your anchors around which the rest of your training is based.
  • Develop a long term plan in rough and then a short term plan (3-4 weeks) in more detail.
  • Now break the short term plan down into single weeks and plan your whole week - work, rest, eating, training, socialising, travelling - so that everything is timetabled.

Many people have speculated over what it takes to become the best in a particular sport or profession. One suggestion which seems to come up regularly is the theory of 10,000 hours of practice. That is made up of 20 hours per week, 50 weeks of the year... for 10 years. Now that is consistency.

Don’t aim for that to start with. Just see if you can complete all of your training next week, even if the weather is poor. Dress appropriately, and then do the same the week after, and just keep stringing them together. It's very simple, it works and we can all do it.

Stay healthy & have fun out there.