The long winter months can be a killer for base fitness and motivation. Memories of warm dry evenings can feel all too long ago and that beautiful Pinarello can be left unloved in the garage with only the spiders for company. By far the best option for the off season is to join a club and get out there for the Sunday morning club rides but what about the rest of the week and what option for the time poor family cyclist who can’t make every Sunday. Today’s blog is for all you looking for options and keen to progress on the fitness through the dark wet winter. Check out our guide to winter cycling training alternatives.
The Turbo trainer option
The favoured option of those time poor individuals with some space. Not all turbo trainers are the same and worth testing before you buy. Resistance and mechanical based machines can be super noisy which is ok in your shed but not in the front room. To get the most from the training cadence sensors and heart monitors are useful additions, if you can afford it an intelligent solution that varies resistance with a course can break the monotony but might break the bank.
The rollers option
Same as the turbo but work with three sets of rollers and a much more realistic cycling experience as you need to concentrate on your positioning whereas you can pretty much switch off on the turbo.
The spinning option – wattbike optional
Spinning classes have popped up all over the country like a rash with sweaty rooms dedicated to spinning bikes in every town and city. The concept has delivered a new lease of life to the once downtrodden exercise bike with spin instructors guiding groups through 40 mins of high intensity cycling simulation all to the beat of some high octane dance smashes.
The track cycling option
A brilliant experience that all should try if you are lucky enough to have a track near you. Circuit based cycling routes over circa 500m which ar available day and night. The sessions tend to mature into groups of similar paced individuals in a time trial esque form. It’s close wheel action and you certainly need to be on your game but the peer pressure to maintain a pace just might push you more than you realise.
The MTB or cyclocross option
Ditch your skinny tyred waif like bike and show that mountain bike some love. With organised races for MTB and cyclocross running all year round you can enjoy the thrill of racing even in January. If races aren’t your thing or your too ashamed of that ten year old fixed tail then try one of the many off-road courses that are all over the place with marked routes and thrilling downhills. It’s all miles in the legs and some April will only be of benefit to your race day plans.
If you have other winter cycling training alternatives that work for you let us and our readers know. Share your thoughts and help other triathletes.
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo Bikes and a regular on the turbo although fancies himself with some track time too on a winters evening