How To Create A Bike Training Plan In The Winter

How To Create A Bike Training Plan In The Winter

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.

MAKE REASONABLE GOALS

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.

Man on a bike in winter.

Your bottom level goal should be maintaining your current pace or distance, with any increases seen as a bonus.

PLAN FOR THE HOLIDAYS

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.

PREPARE FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER

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.

EXERCISE INDOORS

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.

Spinning Instructor at Gym

Just keep things going as best you can, and make goals for gains on specific exercises. Those gains will carry over to your bike.

CONCLUSION

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

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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