Oli Beckingsale: “It’s healthy to have a bit of fat in the British winter”

Bristol-based pro MTBer shares his training plans for the 2014 tri season

Oli Beckingsale

Bristol-based pro MTBer and newly-minted triathlete Oli Beckingsale tells us about his approach to the off-season, and his priorities for bike training in winter. 

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220: Can you share your top advice for the off-season?

Oli: The most important thing in the off season is to look after your health and morale, especially if the weather is bad. 

Make sure you take a break after the season and then build up the training gradually, working up to your first goal of the season.

What are your favourite swimming drills?

I am a poor swimmer like a lot of cyclists, I only learnt to swim crawl 2 years ago and have far from mastered it yet! 

The two drills I do are kicking only with a float, which help stretch out my hip flexors, and one-arm drills with a float, which allow me to concentrate on my stroke.

What do prioritise for bike training?

After a tough season with an intensity overload it’s important to build up my endurance and aerobic fitness. 

That means regular 4-5hr rides but it’s important that these are quality sessions still, so they are still ridden at a specific zone.

I’ll put in harder blocks of work on the hills and in the flat as my fitness progresses.

How do your running sessions change in winter?

In the summer I rarely run as it’s all about the bike racing, and running would probably break me for a week if I ran on the road. 

But looking forward to some triathlon events next year, I am building up my steady running distance at present and focusing on technique, with the help of the running school in Bristol.

How do you change your approach to nutrition?

After a season of eating well and at times really healthily, I let it loose for a month or so, eat what I want and drink a fair bit, putting on a few kilos!

As I train harder the nutrition has to back this up, and I think about the quality of my diet but less about the amount. It’s healthy to have a bit of fat in the British winter.

Is there any winter-specific training gear you cannot do without?

You cannot train in the UK on the bike without the right kit. I am fortunate to be sponsored by Endura clothing so have all the gear. 

The most important thing is to layer up and always have a good breathable waterproof for when the weather goes bad. 

Good tights can make a big difference to keeping your glutes and hips warm.

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Oli can be found on Twitter at @olibeckingsale