Logging miles on your bike is absolutely essential if you want to improve your cycling ability. It's easy to hit the pavement in the warm spring and summer months, but winter road conditions can make outdoor cycling impossible.
Creating an effective winter training routine will help you improve your fitness level so that you are ready to tackle races and long rides when the weather starts to warm up again.
1. Ramp Up Your Weight Training
It's not uncommon for cyclists to lose some of their muscle mass during the winter. This muscle loss can be attributed to the more sedentary lifestyle you may lead during the cold months. Loss of muscle can lead to more fatigue and longer race times when you are ready to cycle outdoors again.
You must increase your strength training efforts during the winter to prevent any muscle loss. Work with your trainer to create a weight training routine that will help you focus in on key muscle groups so that you can make fitness gains instead of losses this winter.
2. Consider Cross Training
Most cyclists are able to complete rides that last several hours on outdoor roadways. The changing scenery helps prevent boredom and you can select from a number of routes to help you continually challenge yourself. Indoor training doesn't offer these same benefits. You are limited to stationary machinery when cycling indoors, and this setup can get old.
Keep your workouts fresh by cross training. Swimming can be a great activity to help improve cardiovascular capacity. Downhill skiing can improve coordination and help build muscle tone in the legs, thighs, and glutes. Using other physical activities to supplement your indoor cycling will help you stay engaged in winter training.
3. Use the Right Trainer
Indoor trainers can be a real lifesaver when it comes to training for cycling during the winter months. Trainers are mechanical devices that connect to the rear hub of your bike. The wheel spins in place when attached to a trainer, allowing you pedal without forward motion.
The real benefit of an indoor trainer is that you can continue using your own bicycle to train instead of relying on a stationary bike or generic piece of equipment. Most winter fitness coaches have indoor cycling trainers that their clients can utilize to help simulate actual riding conditions for improved fitness and training, despite the unbearable conditions that might exist outside.Share