Andy North Winter Miles

Who likes to train in the UK winter weather?

With the cycling racing season is now in full swing with Team Sky racking up their best start to a season so far and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) already with 5 wins, more that any other pro rider this year with races in Australia, South America and the Middle East.

Reading how both Team Sky and Etixx-QuickStep have created the success so far this season, it appears to be down to the extra preparation during the winter months, putting in the hard training and winter miles and using the latest technologically advanced equipment, according to their team management they have both been very pro active with their preparations for this seasons racing, looking at how they could improve on a mixed 2014 season.

the ultra6 challenge team are preparing for their biggest cycling world record challenge, the first to cycle to earths stratosphere, to the edge of space, 100,000ft of continuous ascent & descent on the iconic Mont Ventoux.  Whilst on a Holiday to the United Arab Emirates with his wife in March Andy North was concerned that this would put back his winter training schedule so he decided to plan ahead.

Training whilst on Holiday
A lot of athletes and sports people look to their hero’s and the top teams, the people at the top of their game to see what brings the best out in them, how they have created success. The challenge most people have is the “time factor” i.e. going to work and family time makes up almost all of our time, having discussed this with friends it does appear that  going on holiday is a challenge to maintain the family / fitness balance and my trip to UAE was going to be the same, so having agreed that the best time whilst in Dubai was gym work i.e. took out with me a schedule of Core Training, Yoga and stretching exercises along with using the local gym’s Watt bike to train on.

The 2nd part of the holiday was switching to Al Ain a city close to the Oman border, surrounded by desert and a large mountain that ironically had a similar gradient to Mont Ventoux, so staying with family enabled me to plan ahead and achieve some amazing running in the desert, scrambling up the side of Jabel Hafeet a 3,000ft mountain and also taking in some cycling coaching from a local Tri Athlete Nick who was a mind of knowledge on all things cycling / running / Diet & Nutrition “always so much to learn and grow”

Nick and i would chat the whole way up the mountain about all things cycling, especially the kit we used from the best bikes, to his power metre, to the best exposure lights and how to keep the powerful sun from consuming your body. Factor 50 sun block is always worn for exposed and none exposed areas to ensure the sun does not penetrate.

Having now run and cycled through France and Spain a number of times using a good pair of Sports Sunglasses has always been my priority and having used many different Sports Sunglasses running and cycling in hot countries of Europe i have found that in bright sunshine if i did not take away the suns glare and avoid squinting eyes this would drain my energy and very quickly over heat. these are the best Sports Sun glasses i now use.

Andy North
Ultra6 Challenge World Record Team