Make the most of your winter training

Make the most of your winter training

Winter Training – How to make the most of it.

Well, it’s that time of year where your training can take at hit as you are at the mercy of the wintery conditions. It can be super hard to stay focused and motivated and quite often without a plan or goal it can derail your next seasons fitness before they have even begun. Here’s how to use the winter months as a positive period in your training rather than wishing them away.

Smart trainers

The introduction of the many trainer platforms out there such as Zwift, Trainer Road etc really has made a difference to what was once a mind-numbing turbo session staring at a wall in your garage. It also provides an opportunity to really nail some specific and focused training sessions without taking up too much time, you can even enter races and enter the virtual world of bike riding to keep you motivated. For winter gains I would consider undertaking a power-based training plan and really focus on building power during the winter months. With limited availability and weather conditions to do the long slow endurance rides and assuming you are familiar with training and have a good base fitness (this is important as you need to be used to training), try flipping your training on its head and focus on the short sharp stuff first to really boost your FTP and aerobic capacity; which in turn will drag up all your zones to boot. This way when the weather finally breaks you can enjoy those endurance rides so much more and start to build on your already improved fitness. To ensure a productive winter off season a smart trainer is the way to go.

Off bike strength work.

To supplement you indoor training now is the time to focus on all the things you have missed during the cycling season. Strength and Conditioning is so important to increase muscular strength and build muscular endurance in preparation for the forthcoming season. It goes without saying developing more muscular strength can only be a good thing and will really translate to faster bike times on the road whilst building a more resilient body to prevent injury.

Alternative types of training.

A fantastic way to keep your fitness and prevent that mentally frazzled feeling is to try other types of training such as running, walking, Skiing, keeping active and utilising your muscles in other ways can really have beneficial impact.

Goal setting

In my opinion this is the key to keeping yourself motivated through the winter months, having a goal set for the spring can really help to focus the mind and prevent the “I’ll start next week syndrome.” 

In summary winter training can be an opportunity to focus on your weaknesses and areas you want to work on such as flexibility and strength. It can also be a time to mentally give yourself a boost by taking on some enjoyable training alternatives in groups for example. Try and look to the winter as an opportunity to build a stronger better you!