220’s Winter Training Advent Calendar (Part 6)

Six days into December (which means only 19 left until Christmas), and the Winter Training Advent Calendar is really getting into its stride. Today has some advice on both winter racing and bike cleaning, which really should go hand in hand...

36 Cyclo-Cross Racing
Usually based on a grassy lop of about one miles, you race on a cross bike (like a road bike with knobbly tyres) for an hour. A very intensive workout, they often include some running with the bike on your shoulder.
37 Off-Road Duathlons
Run/bike/run with a lot of mud and a mountain bike rather than a road or TT bike. Fantastic for keeping your legs used to bike/run transitions over the winter.
38 Coastal Marathons/Half Marathons
Great for building up mileage and endurance as well as leg strength, with much less injury risk than pure road running. Beautiful scenery is a bonus, as is the camaraderie of running with other athletes.
39 Cross-Country Running
Lay those school PE lesson nightmares to rest and get your spikes on to compete in some cross-country races. Usually quite short and very fast, they’ll keep your top-end speed intact and competitive streak alive through the darker months.
40 Keep On Top Of Bike Cleaning
Road salt, water and grime will corrode your pride ad joy (especially with these off-road races) if you don’t give it frequent washes and a bit of lube during the winter.
41 Carry More Than One Inner Tube
Wet, gravelly roads = more punctures, and cleated cycling shoes aren’t designed for walking in.