Winter Training for Cyclists

Winter generally means a season of poor weather you will encounter more rain, stronger winds, frost, ice, snow and cold temperatures and short hours of daylight. This may make riding uncomfortable. Whether you are a dedicated racer or a weekend warrior the winter months can lead to a lack of enthusiasm to ride your bike and stay fit.

However by using your time wisely, using specialized equipment and varying your training you stay can motivated and use this time productively as you reach for your goals.

Indoor Training
Winter is typified by short days and bad weather. Riding in the dark or in poor conditions can be not only unpleasant but potentially dangerous.

If your aim is to keep fit, then a trainer may be the answer. A cycling trainer is a simple device (a rig with a roller, sometimes with adjustable resistance, which accepts your regular bike and lets you spin away to your heart’s content, going nowhere, in the comfort of your home). Trainers can be used for really good quality training sessions, with the benefit that you are on your own bike in your regular riding position. They are not, however, ideal for endurance training. They are much better for short, intense sessions. You may want to watch TV or listen to music while you are riding to keep you entertained. Wear as little clothing as the temperature allows – indoors this will probably be just shorts and a vest. In a shed or garage you may need tights and a track top, plus hat and gloves that can be removed as you exercise and get increasingly hotter and sweatier. It’s a good idea to have plenty of ventilation or a fan, as you will get hot.

Alternate Exercise
If you have done a lot of riding in the summer then some different exercise may be just what your mind and body needs. Especially as cycling in the winter can be off putting, so in order to stay fit you may want to do some other activity or sport. Alternative exercises can provide a new mental challenge and will help prevent overuse and unbalancing of your body that may occur from doing just one sport. By running, swimming or using a gym you will be able to maintain your fitness from the summer, stay warm and stay motivated with the variety in your routine.

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