We chatted to Neil Timm about his build up to the South African National Road Race & Time Trial Champs and the Tour of Good Hope in February. Neil shares some pointers with us for other athletes training over the December holidays taking travel and family commitments into account.
Neil is no stranger to the podium in the local road racing scene! He's won national titles in both the Road and Time Trial events and has also won the 94.7 as well as multiple South African classics.
1) What are you currently preparing for?
SA Road Cycling Championships (Road and Time Trial) & the Tour of Good Hope
2) How do you stay motivated during the holiday season?
In the Southern hemisphere, summer is a time of year with longer days and warmer weather, which favours cycling and longer rides. Some challenges around the festive season can be travelling in general or travelling to destinations far away from home where training routes are not well known. This can cause routine structures to dissolve.
This can be a good thing, but it's easy to lose focus without a goal and a plan. Plan ahead, structure your training so that it fits in with your and your family's plans. Mix things up, don't be afraid to try different routes and different training times.
3) What is one pearl of wisdom that you would be happy to share with other athletes?
Have a plan that allows enough balance with your lifestyle and family time. In the past I have taken advantage of the holidays to put in some big training hours, but at the same time not allowing time to recover, as time off the bike is often spent with the family in holiday mode.
Don't forget hydration, as one is often out longer and later on the bike in the holidays. Dehydration can have a severe impact on recovery. I recall a few years ago where by the time second week of January arrives, my body and legs were completely cooked. It would take 2 weeks for the power returns. Not fun!