Wintertime is usually not the best time to be cycling, especially if you live in regions that have lots of winter weather to deal with.
For those trying to maintain a cycling training plan, the winter season can often throw a kink in your plans, and leave you off your goals and possibly a little out of shape after the big thaw in the spring.
When this happens, you can often end up spending one of the more milder times of year getting back into shape -- just in time for the heat of summer. Bummer.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid the winter lag, and stay on pace to keep your fitness up, and goals in line.
This kind of goes without saying. Winter training is a way to stay on track with your goals for both the short and long term.
If you’ve been at this for awhile, reflect back on your past years’ performance. What distance do you want to add? What times do you want to shave down? Be realistic here. If you're trying to increase your miles by 15-20 come early spring, you may need to scale things back.
Realize that winter poses issues to a normal training routine. Your goals cannot be as ambitious. Even if your winters are milder than others, your daylight will be shorter, taking away from your training time.
Your bottom level goal should be maintaining your current pace or distance, with any increases seen as a bonus.
Don’t limit your enjoyment of the holidays because of your cycling goals. Live a little. This means allowing for some extra calories around the holidays, even if in small spurts. Don’t be that person who makes a fuss at Thanksgiving and eats a plate of green beans and a dollop of cranberry sauce. It's just one day, you’re fine.
In most cases, you’ll want to even suspend your training for a week or so at some point. For instance, if you want to relax during the period from Christmas to New Years, go extra hard that week leading up so you can spend the holiday week recovering.
As you already know, winter weather can be a hinderance. Get your bike ready for it, and get the right gear to handle it. Whether it’s fenders, different tires, cold weather cycling clothing, whatever. Just make sure you have it, otherwise you’ll find excuses to stay inside.
Okay, staying inside isn’t always so bad. During the winter, you’ll need to change things up a bit and rely more on indoor exercise. Whether that means a stationary bike, a trainer attachment, a temporary gym membership, whatever works.
Just keep things going as best you can, and make goals for gains on specific exercises. Those gains will carry over to your bike.
With a little planning and the right attitude, winter can be a beneficial time in your training. Follow the tips above to keep things on track, making way for a better spring and summer riding season.
This post was last updated on June 5th, 2018 at 02:10 pm
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