Running not biking in the winter

January 15, 2014 by
Filed under: Living in Rural France 

I run in the winter rather than cycle to keep fit.

Here in the Lot in the winter temperatures can drop overnight to -10c (-22 is the record)

It takes quite a while for the temperature to rise to a decent rideable temperature. Sometimes it can be warmer, today it is 9.30 am and about 6c but there is a slight drizzle. I am definitely a warm weather cyclist now!

I used to commute every day on my bike to work when I lived in Exeter (Devon, UK). But of course the roads were treated and there was a lot more traffic around to keep the roads clear.

I now really only bike in the summer, usually with our cycling guests, but I need to keep fit!

I could mountain bike, and I have tried a few times! We back on to a forest with lots of trails that go on for miles but I do find mountain biking challenging. It’s one of the few times I actually wear a cycle helmet – to avoid hitting my head on low level trees and branches.

Of course if I had a decent mountain bike maybe I’d hit the dirt more! My bike is at least fifteen years old and was bought second hand for £100 from a fellow bike club member in Exeter. It’s an old Saracen with no front or rear suspension! So on the trails with all the small rocks it is very jarring on the hands and shoulders. So why don’t I buy a new one? Well I’d rather buy another road bike (I have four). I still don’t think I’d use a new mountain bike.

So I run off road during the winter normally with my two dogs early in the morning. Not every morning, normally every two to three days. I don’t believe running every day is actually good for you. Back in the UK I used to play a lot of indoor football (soccer) and also was very keen on triathlon. So used to swim before work, then bike to work and back followed by a run. Sometimes even running lunchtimes as well.

John Triathlon racing









I used to think I was quite fit. But I actually think I am fitter now, maybe because I’ve lost about ten kilos over the last couple of years. This makes it a lot easier to run up hills and also of course it helps with my biking.

How did I lose that weight? Next blog post?


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