Fight the festive flab

Get fit or die trying! Well, don't die, obviously...
A photo of Gee Atherton weight training in a gym.
Gee Atherton weight training © Laurence Crossman-Emms
By Ric McLaughlin

1 Put down the pies

Christmas, like it or not, is over. As a result, there is no longer justification to eat pies (mince or other), cheeseboards and turkey dinners in between meals. You need to flick the switch in your head from 'festive' back to 'normal'. Take that paper hat off too.

2 Get a road bike

Much as we're loathed to admit it, our Lycra-clad cousins have the superior sport when it comes to shifting body fat. Even the steepest climb at your local trails will be relatively short in comparison to some of the sustained efforts you'll be able to spin out on a road ride.

A photo of Gee Atherton weight training in the gym.
Gee Atherton hits the weights © Laurence Crossman-Emms

3 The Pyramid of Pain

As ominously horrific as it sounds. Find a rugby pitch, start at one end and sprint to the first try line then walk back. Then sprint to the half way line and walk back. Then sprint to the second try line and walk back. Then sprint the full length of the pitch and walk back. Then vomit and repeat.

4 Ride your bike

Sounds mental, doesn't it?! It's not. Use the old winter training tip of toting up the price of your bike and all your riding kit then ask yourself what your doing sat in your pyjamas after lunchtime watching re-runs of Allo Allo...

5 Get your kit on

Probably the most difficult aspect of getting out on your bike in the hangover month of January is the physical act of putting your riding kit on in the first place. The answer is simple - put it on first thing in the morning! So whether you're off down the shops, meeting the other half for lunch or going to the dentists, you'll feel like an idiot until you've been for a bike ride.

Gee Atherton on the downhill course during the DH World Cup round at Leogang 2013
Gee Atherton at Leogang © Lukas Pilz/Red Bull Content Pool

6 Short term goals

Winning the Megavalanche in 2016 may be an admirable goal but in reality the road to that podium is paved with pitfalls and lined with kebab shops. Find a local winter series race in the next month or so and focus your efforts and energies on it. A solid few weeks worth of training will get the ball rolling, keep updating your goals as you proceed. Buy out-sized 'fat' trousers to illustrate your point with on Facebook. 

7 Get your bike serviced

Bike falling to bits in the shed? Still coated with the greying filth of the last ride of 2013? Either service it yourself or get it serviced at your local quality bike shop. It's amazing the restorative powers a clean machine can have on your motivation levels. Alternatively, give bike to mate/sibling, buy a new one.

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