Training in Winter



Hi All,
I was wondering how many of the cyclists on this board will be continuing their training through winter.

Last year I trained straight through winter to try and better my 94.7 time (I succeeded). However this winter I think I'm going to take a different approach....

Last year I spent 4 mornings a week on the indoor trainer, staring at the wall while I got some base "miles" under my belt. I can honestly say I've never been so bored in all my life :p Every Sunday I would do a long ride of aprox. 3 hrs (What is that strange bright object in the Sky? ;) )

This year I've decided to extend my sporting repertoire, I'm trying to get a toe hold in Adventure Racing and I want to do the Comrades marathon in 2003 (89km at once, on foot, for non S'Effricans).

I've decided that I'm going to break it down as follows.

Monday Light Run (20-30 mins)
Tuesday Indoor Trainer (45-60 mins)
Wednesday Run (45-50 mins)
Thursday Indoor Trainer (45-60 mins)
Friday Run (45-60 mins)
Saturday Long Run (2hrs)
Sunday Long Cycle (oooo look the sun!!!)

Lunch times during the week Swimming and strength training

I will be periodising (Is that a word?) my training, so for the first 4 months, the majority of my training will be in the 60% to 80% MHR zone.

Now before you state the obvious ie. "WHERE'S YOUR REST DAY", I have never in my life managed to stick exactly to a plan, not even for a week, I also have a problem getting out of bed on those cold winter mornings, so there's a good chance I'll skip one, maybe two of the scheduled workouts.

Please feel free to tell me what you think of my program, pick it apart, tell me I'm being ridiculous, but please give me some suggestions....
Let me know your winter training plans.

See you on the road (If you're wearing reflective clothing!!)
X-training is the way to go. We don't get snow here in SA, so skiing is out of the Q's, unless you plan to do your x-training in Lesotho. Running is the next best thing. Rollerblading and ice-skating are excellent options too. What you should'nt do is stay off the bike too long during the winter months, so the indoor trainer must be put to good use. Edmund R. Burke, in his book 'Serious Cycling', suggests a transition period of about 8 weeks, where you recover physically and psychologicaly from the bike. This period of active rest consists of low-volume, low-intensity workouts, where your goal is to maintain a specific performance level and a training condition of medium to high fitness. From there onwards, your winter training should incorporate x-training and weights or resistance training, gradually building up to specialised training on the bike. Edmund reckons that your training should be low intensity, long duration during the first phase, and then increasing intensity and mileage as the off-season draws to a close.
Want to take a break from road cycling, try these cross training alternatives to keep fit!!
1. Mountain Biking
It improves your road skills.
Improves Power output.
Improves pedaling efficiency.
Relatively inexpensive to get into.
In a short time you are able to get a great workout.
Do not structure workouts- simply ride as you feel and Enjoy!

2. Indoor cycling
It is Safe.
It improves your pedaling technique.[Smooth round circle]
It improves your Leg-speed.
It is ideal to do Aerobic Base work, If you have a Heart rate monitor.
Ideal to do Speed Intervals.
It is ideal in Winter-Irrespective of the weather you can train.
It is an ideal environment to understand how your body responds too intensity while training. [You are able to watch your Heart Rate monitor continually, without hitting a pothole.]
It is a Fun/Social and a great form of cross training in winter.

3. Swimming Training:
Swimming is the most under rated form of exercise. Granted it is not for everyone as a sport but the benefits as a form of cross training are numerous.
It is non-weight bearing.
It helps develop the upper body muscles.
It helps with muscle toning of the legs.
It improves the cardio vascular system.
It improves your health if you suffer from Asthma, Sinus or Post Nasal Drip.
Helps to relax aching muscles, it is a great form of recovery.

A sample workout would look something like this:

150m Warm up.
4 X 25m Single arm swim 30 second rest in between. (Split the length in 2. Start of with the left arm and then the right.)
4 X 50m Swim 30 second rest in between.
6 X 25m Kick 20 second rest in between.
6 X 25m Pull 20 second rest in between.
6 X 25m Swim 15 second rest in between.
100m Cool down.

3. Circuit Training
This is a great way to supplement your training. The main benefits are
Improved muscle strength (8-12 reps)
Improved muscle endurance (15-20 reps).
Far too many people do weight training incorrectly. The main emphasis though MUST be on
Correct technique
Correct posture
Correct Weight usage (75% of max weight)

Remember you must train your abs and lower back like any other muscles in your body. This is vitally important.


Abdominal – Leg Ups 4 Sets of 30 – 60
Abdominal – Crunches 4 Sets of 30 – 60
Chin Ups – Wide Grip 4 Sets of 6 – 10
Chin Ups – Narrow Grip 4 Sets of 6 – 10
Press Ups – Medium 4 Sets of 15 – 30
Hack Squats 4 Sets of 20 – 35
Leg Extensions 4 Sets of 20 – 35
Thigh Curls 4 Sets of 20 – 25
Calf Raisers 4 Sets of 20
Dumbbell Lat Raisers 4 Sets of 12 (ant/med/post)
Dumbbell Biceps Curls 4 Sets of 12
Triceps 4 Sets of 12

Beginners – 2 Sets.
Medium – 3 Sets.
Advanced – 4 Sets.
Winter isnt that bad in Australia......infact i've normally rode more in the winter than I have in the summer ;)
winters not that bad here in oz 'though' i think ill get some full cover cloves as last winter my fingers froze in the morning. it generally starts very cold and gets better. though you can cycle no problems just have some arm/leg warmers with you at least.

hows every ones training going? mines sucks :( iv done a bit of mtbing but i dont want to do too much as my left knee still has a ****le. still waiting for my new bike :mad:
Winter isnt that bad in Australia......infact i've normally rode more in the winter than I have in the summer  ;)

Ra! I live in Queensland, and as far as I'm concerned, summer's fine if you like dehydration, heat stroke, skin cancer and bushfire smoke. I hate all those things, so I much prefer winter. The only good thing about summer is the occasional tropical downpour (which have been sadly lacking the last couple of years :( ), oh yeah, and the fact that my passionfruit vine flowers then too.

If space exploration ever makes it possible, I intend to move to a planet with a year-round winter.
OK so you like winter in QLD I think you forget QLD does not have a winter I call 18 degrees warm it might get down to 15 but I dont see that Very often I live in Sydney at 5 to 10 degrees it is just starting to get cold my brother lives in Comma at 0 to -8, 6 Months of the year now that's cold and not that nice Weather to ride in Specaily when it starts snowing he calls 15 degrees a heat Wave HA HA HA 8)
OK so you like winter in QLD I think you forget QLD does not have a winter I call 18 degrees warm it might get down to 15 but I dont see that Very often

Yeah, well, when you've ridden in temperatures as high as 47 degrees, you'll start to appreciate winter too.