Hibernation? The struggle is real!
We asked Michael Ferreira a few questions on training in winter, how to beat the slump and steer clear of the all too familiar “Hibernation Phase” often experienced by athletes and those training for personal goals/events.
What challenges does your body go through in winter training and how do your stay motivated to keep momentum going?
Mike: “Coming into winter it is a very difficult time for athletes as the cold takes a huge toll on the amount of training we do and the motivation that we have. The way I handle the winter slump is firstly by buying the appropriate gear. There is nothing worse than going out and doing a ride in sub zero degree temperatures in tight, thin spandex. It is essential to have the correct gear to keep your fingers, toes, ears and nose warm.
To keep myself motivated throughout the year I have a vision board to constantly remind me of the big goal that I am shooting for at the end of the year. This sometimes is not enough to get me going at the crack of dawn. I am very fortunate to have a solid support structure in the form of my family, friends and very supportive girlfriend that help me get up so early on the cold winter mornings. “
What do you change about your routine, add, alter or tweak accordingly?
Mike: “My training stays the same so I like to organise my training to fit in with others who have similar races and training schedules so that there is a pressure to wake up and not let your riding partner down. It allows me to enjoy my rides more as I have good company with striving for a similar goal.
The biggest problem I think people have during the winter months is finding the motivation to keep going. No one likes to freeze and feel the burn at the same time while others are cozy under their blankets. It takes a lot of motivation and strength to work through the winter but the athletes that do will always be a cut above the rest.
How do you adjust your diet and “fuel” your body for winter training?
Mike: “The way I see my dieting is that you cannot fuel a jet on a cars tank of petrol. I say this with reference to being a lot more active than the usual person. You have to put in the correct fuel in the right amounts. I generally stick to a high protein diet with my protein being a white meat like chicken or fish. I do eat a lot to be able to give myself enough energy to get through my training program. I stick away from sugars and carbs as they make me very sluggish and it creates a serious challenge to wake up early and go train. During the winter I am very strict with the amounts of sugars and carbs that I take in to ensure that I can wake up with enough energy to take on the day.”
What would you say are the 5 essentials to improve your training and/or keep consistency?
Mike: My five essentials would be –
- Specialized Element 1.5 gloves with the Mesta Wool Liner
- Good company on cold, early morning rides
- Bright lights front and back for the dark early mornings
- Proper sleep management
- A strong cup of coffee to get going!
How do you prevent injury in the “colder” training conditions?
Mike: “To prevent injuries during the colder days I make sure that I warm up properly to get the blood flowing, I dress warmly to prevent any extra unnecessary stress on my joints and stretch to warm down properly. They are very simple but very effective ways to prevent injury.”
Follow Michael Ferreira on social media:
Facebook – Michael Ferreira
Twitter – @CCmikeBH
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