Training plans for Winter?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Eden, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    I'm with Mellic here. This forum is getting a bit dull, we need to get some good bike related discussions going. So how's about this for a starter. I've been cycling a long time, but I'm just getting into racing. I've been riding a lot, but I think I've gotten about as far as I can by just going out and riding without a real plan, so I need to start thinking about a training plan for winter. So far I've aquired a nice used trainer (its a fluid trainer - the hubby got a magnetic one last year that I've used also and so far I don't see a big difference) and I plan to do the Power Interval DVD that I have at least twice a week when it starts getting too dark to go outside after work, but I don't yet have a lot of real ideas about what else to do. I'll probably put in between 45 min and 1.5 hrs inside on 4 weekdays and get outside to put in base miles on weekends - it stays warm enough here pretty much all year if a bit wet at times (I'll go cross country skiing on the weekends sometimes too if we get any snow this year!).

    I will also be going out on Saturdays to the local "meet the team" rides, so I may be able to get some pointers there too, especially if I decide to join one.

    How about everyone else? - What do you all do for the winter to stay in shape/improve for next year? For the southern hemisphere gals how did your winter training go? any pointers for us just starting the season.
     
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  2. Mellic

    Mellic New Member

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    Yay a decent conversation. Don't know how much of a response you will get to this one though Eden since there doesn't seem to be too many competitive girls out there. Anyway I can add to this topic a little.

    Hmmmm...where to start. Well I am lucky enough to live in the southern hemisphere. Our race season is based over the colder months (April-September) because our summers are too hot to race in during the day.

    During the race season I primarily train on the road and on weekends I train offroad. On the odd occasion it does rain and I have to pull out the wind trainer and do my 45 minute trainer session, but that is very rarely (maybe twice a month).

    In summer (our off season) I train at night both on and offroad. We do have some races in the summer but they are mostly endurance races held at night.

    Anyway I really cannot give any training advice because most of us here stay in shape all year round because we don't have to contend with winter.
     
  3. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Pilates are a nice compliment to cycling to keep you in shape. I don't like doing them much since they don't feel like much of a challenge. I do notice the difference in my shape when I don't do them though. If nothing else, they tweak your abs. They make your legs stronger also as they work every muscle, you notice the ones you aren't using as much when cycling become stronger and you have more power when on your bike. Also, they only take a half hour at most.
    I was looking into trainers and decided not to burn up my tires. I'm going to stay on the road for as long as possible with my road bike and switch to my daughters mountain bike when the roads get too sandy. I really don't like riding the mountain bike but at least I'll be riding. I have to get a cover for my nose and mouth this year. When the weather got too cold for my lungs last year I ended up in bed with an asthma attack sucking on a nebulizer for 2 weeks. My brother in Jersey has a very good stationary wind cycle he offered me last summer. It wouldn't fit in my van with the kids though. He said he'd bring it out next trip. I hope to get it before winter. I really want to keep training so I can begin racing next year. I'd like to join a group over the winter to at least attend meetings and learn more about racing. I've trained a lot and am in fairly good condition but have lots to learn about actual racing. I've only ridden alone so far and need to learn about the best way to take corners etc. Let me know if you know of any organizations on Long Island,NY. I've looked at a couple but would like to know of more.
     
  4. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    I'm not sure it's fair to say the girls on this forum aren't serious riders Mellic. I think they are just asking questions pertaining to ladies issues as this is a ladies forum. I'm sure many of the girls are or want to become serious cyclists and feel this is a good place to start. I had lots of things I hadn't a clue about when I began cycling and asked lots of really odd questions here when I joined the forum. It really is the only place to ask questions about hygene, etc. Try to give these girls a break and remember there is no such thing as a stupid question. These ladies only want to learn how to improve themselves.
    As far as living in the southern hemisphere, I really wish I did also. I can take any kind of heat but really don't like the cold at all! It's an odd thing really. The more hot and humid it gets the more I enjoy my rides. I also really enjoy going for rides after dark.
     
  5. bikelet

    bikelet New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm just interested in your comment about Pilates. I've wanted to get involved with it and there are some books at my local library but i don't know exactly what sort of movements are most important, the fundamentals if you like. There are some instructors around but they charge the earth and i'd rather do it at home. I'm a southern hemishpere girl too so i guess i don't have much excuse for slacking off in winter like i do :rolleyes: . When it rains or i can't be bothered going outside i skip (good for the calf muscles), sometimes box or dance around and do light weights. You have to be a bit creative sometimes. The one thing i like about being inside is that you can have music on. Some people ride with music but i don't like that because it you can't hear the traffic and such forth
     
  6. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    I would never ride with an ipod, etc. It's just asking for trouble. Skipping rope, boxing and weights don't exactly sound like "slacking off" to me but I understand what you mean is you aren't out on your bike. As far as Pilates are concerned, there is absolutely no need to blow money on a class. Just go to your music/dvd store. You'll find a variety of dvd's to choose from.
     
  7. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Getting used to riding in a large group before you try a road race would definitely be a good. You'll find yourself riding far closer to people than is comfortable and if you know what to expect you will be much less likely to crash. You may be able to find some time trials in your area, but it can be more difficult as you are on your own and it can be challenging to learn to pace yourself properly.

    I'm afraid I am on the other end of the continent up here in Seattle so I don't know too much about what is available around the Long Island area, but I'll do a little research and post some links at the end. We are really lucky here to have an extremely active cycling community. I just went on a women's skill building ride today and was able to meet people from several teams. It was quite educational. We split up into groups and swapped ride leaders about half way through. The teams have quite distinct personalities. The largest women's team covers a lot of the sport- track, road, cross, but the members definitely represent a lot of talent and experience and they really want to share it. One of the co-ed teams is very regimented and unlike most teams has a specific training regimen that they expect their members to attend throughout the winter (we can ride pretty much all year round here - it rains but doesn't usually snow or get too cold. The bigger problem is that it gets dark at about 4:30 in the afternoon). Another team seemed to be the "party team" and I found them to be a little lacking in focus - they got chatting so much they couldn't maintain a paceline. Strangely enough I think when it comes down to racing they are a very strong team, but they weren't taking the ride very seriously.

    On to links - I'm not finding too many racing teams, but there are a fair number of clubs which is a good way to start getting used to group riding and there are often fast riders even if they aren't into racing. You should ask around at your local bike shops too, they may be a bit standoffish, but be persistant- racing can really be a bit of a boys club and they aren't even always too welcoming to new boys much less women, which is why having the women's groups out here is really great. This is a good time of the year to get involved. Teams are generally looking to take on new members and set their rosters for next year around now. Of course you don't necessarily have to join a team to race, but having good mentors who know their way around is nice.
    clubs
    http://www.bicyclelongisland.org/
    http://www.bicyclelongisland.org/libc/
    http://www.sbraweb.org/
    http://www.massparkbikeclub.org/
    http://home.att.net/~tbkrenitsky/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html
    racing teams
    http://www.bicyclelongisland.org/gbsc/
    (all of the USA cycling + USCF registered teams in NY - may help you web search)
    http://www.usacycling.org/clubs/index.php?state=NY
    races
    http://krebcycle.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=225
    (past, but may reoccur next year)
    http://www.rockawave.com/news/2004/0528/Community/005.html
    just plain funny
    http://members.tripod.com/geert_pc/slang.htm
     
  8. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Thanks so much for the info! You always are very helpfull to me when I ask a question. I really appreciate the way you go out of your way to research for me always. I definetly do think it will be much better for me to go on group rides before races to get used to things. I have been able to find some of these links myself but it was great to have so many more to look into. I'm glad you have so many groups in Seattle to cycle with! Though I do see cyclists more and more lately very few are more than commuters or leisure riders. I can probably count less than ten serious cyclists I've seen since spring and they were all men.
    It was funny to read your descriptions of the various groups. It sounded a bit like the way my daughters describe their classmates. One of my daughters was placed in all advanced placement classes where the students are all very serious and competitive. She has to suffer through phys ed and Spanish with the mainstream girls and it drives her nuts. My other daughter is as smart or smarter but didn't want to do the work required to get into the AP classes. As a result she now suffers through high end mainstream classes that to her feel like special education. She has to listen to those chatty girls in some of her classes and says she is ready to jump out the window as she finishes work in 30 seconds that takes the other kids 30 minutes or longer. I tell her to get it perfect this year and they may consider moving her up but once again, she doesn't have the dedication for homework till midnight, holidays and summer vacation. Though I do point out the future, It seems too far off for it to be a reality to her.
    Enjoy your rides and stay dry! You must have to be an expert with maintenance with all the rain you get out there.
    A guy at a bike shop gave me Active.com to look into. They are nationwide so I thought you might want to look at the site in the event you don't already know about it.
     
  9. kaian

    kaian New Member

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    I live in Michigan where it gets pretty cold starting in November. I plan on doing some MTBing until there is snow on the ground and then after that, it's going to be indoor training! I have a Spinervals DVD that has a bunch of different types of workouts. The power workouts are great! I've also started running 2 times a week which has helped me gain strength in other parts of my legs.

    I'd really like to get into racing, but am kind of nervous about not being good enough. I'm not even sure where I need to be to be prepared. I've ridden with groups and I do okay with that. I've even avoided some almost-crash situations, so I feel pretty good about handling my bike in general. I guess I'm just not sure about what my goals should be. How fast should I be able to go and for how long (far) before I'm ready to race?
     
  10. Mellic

    Mellic New Member

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    I never said girls who don't race are not "serious", I said they were not "competitive". There is a big difference. Eden asked about a training plan, and obviously competitive cyclists are more likely to have one. Girls who ride for fitness/fun can ride whenever they like and generally have no firm training regimes.

    In regards to what women ask on this forum - true the forum is designed for discussing ladies issues but it should be specific to cycling. I am more than happy to address topics about bikes, clothing, shoes, helmets, health issues, training etc as long as it is specific to cycling. Make-up, deodorant, shaving product etc are all things that people have personal preferences towards and they are just things you learn from trial and error.
     
  11. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    There's quite a lot of training related questions in the training and power forums, as you'd expect. Obviously, they may not be specific to women, although general principles of training remain the same between the sexes (and people of different age). That is, there must be some sort of overload, followed by an easy work period, which allows your body to recover and then compensate resulting in increased fitness.

    If you have some training questions then one of the RST coaches could come into the forum to give some advice, or if anyone wanted some coaching we do coach ladies as well as men!

    The best *general* bit of advice i'll give now, is to not slack off over the off-season, and do nothing! You just lose fitness and have to start all over from scratch! If the weather is poor, then an indoor trainer is the best tool you can purchase -- that way you can ride indoors, keep dry/warm and maintain (or even increase your fitness).

    Cheers
    Ric
     
  12. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Sorry Mellic, I should have used the word competitive. I guess what I was trying to say is you have to start somewhere and if someone wants to compete eventually they are going to have a lot of quirky questions initially. I know I'll have tons of questions when I have my first cycling club meeting as I really do want to begin racing by next summer. I've trained as far as possible on my own now I need to know the ins and outs for strategy during a race. I'm strong and fast enough but strategy is key to doing well and possibly wining.
    Tell me, What are the statistics on doping? I'll never do drugs and would like to know how many honest girls there are racing out there.
     
  13. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Any tips are good tips and indeed, there are other people talking about training, but one of the ideas here was to get the girls talking. The whole competitive scene can be a bit difficult for anyone who is a novice to unravel and doubly hard if you are not a man. I don't really think that is intentional, but like any other activity cliques form. If I wasn't getting a lot of encouragement from other women, I doubt I would even be considering competing, much less going out to team rides. So far my goals for the winter are to be able to complete the interval DVD that I have. It's pretty tough - both my husband and I were tanked after 2 of the 3 5min intervals (couldn't keep the HR up for the 3rd interval and the instructions say to stop and cool down if this happens) and to choose a team to ride with next year. I am hoping that if I join a team that I will also get some more help with planning out winter training.

    To WackyDeidre - my pleasure, I've been getting a lot of support out here and love to be able to pass even a little of that on. I want to hear about your first race next year. ;)

    To Kaian - you've asked the difficult question that no one ever answers (how fast/how far do you need to be able to ride to be ready to race) and I can't really say as I've never done a road race or criterium (only TT and hillclimbs) so I don't really know what it is like. My husband however has raced the whole season though he is in good shape, it took him most of the year to just be able to finish with the group. I think that the best advice is to not be discouraged if you do get dropped. If you keep at it you will probably eventually be able keep up, if you quit you'll never find out. Finding a team to ride with is a good idea if you can do it and you are feeling up to making that kind of commitment. They'll be able to give you support, advice and a good measure of your fitness.
     
  14. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    that's why i posted a response in here. i can answer stuff in this forum if you ladies want.
    for sure. it seems (i can only guess) that it's harder for women to get into racing, due to cycling having previously been a male dominated sport.

    getting on a team or club etc, is definitely the way forward. lots of advice and experience.

    Anyway, my offer still stands, if anyone wants any advice in this forum

    cheers
    ric
     
  15. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    Ric, look above. I made an error when typing my reply and my settings won't allow me to cut and paste.
     
  16. tjodit

    tjodit New Member

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    Mellic, I agree with you saying that competitive cyclists are more likely to have a training plan. However, I think to assume that women who do not "compete" (ie. race), are not competitive is incorrect. I started a thread yesterday about "endurance". As I said in there I am a competitive person but have no plans of "competing"...at least not right now because I know I wouldn't be in the run for 1st place. :) But I am competitive. I want to blow the socks off of the folks in the "moderate" group that didn't give me the time of day because I don't "look" like a lean, mean cycling machine. Little do they know that inside of me burns the desire to hear them huffing and puffing behind me as they try to keep up! ;)

    So, I'll ask the same question here as I did in the thread I started. How do I go about increasing my endurance? After two hours my body just wants off the bike...I doesn't matter if I went hard or slow. It just wants off the bike after 2 hrs. I guess I didn't want to hear about interval work or "training" because I don't really understand all that and because I assumed that was just for those who plan on racing. Can anyone help out a newbie with this?
     
  17. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    sorry, it's not immediately obvious what the error is? you should be able to edit it though...

    ric
     
  18. wackydeirdre

    wackydeirdre New Member

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    I think Mellic as well as Eden who is very helpfull will also be far more qualified to answer this than myself but I'll give it a shot. Just when your body wants off the bike stay on it even when your legs are burning. This was how I think I got over many endurance hurdles. Watch your cadance and don't let it get below 80. Eventually, you will be capable of things you never imagined! Best of luck and feel lucky to be in Texas where year round workouts shouldn't pose problems!
    PS Don't work yourself into an injury either.
     
  19. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    I think we need a little more information. What about is it at 2 hrs makes you want to get off? Are you feeling like you don't have any energy left? That could be not enough to eat/drink on the bike. Are you sore? I find that if I am not paying enough attention to moving my head and neck around that I start to get a neck/shoulder ache at about 2 hrs. You may just need to keep at it to improve your general fitness. Its hard to say without knowing a bit more background.

    As far as "training" goes, people have different reasons for doing it and different regimens. You could be training to do a long ride, like a century, you could be training for a bicycle tour, you could be training to race or just training for fitness. Really it just means having a plan.

    Anyway let us know a bit more and maybe some of us can come up with a better reply for you. Watch out though, its addictive, once you get fast enough to hurt those moderate riders you'll find yourself wanting more and more and the next thing you know you'll be entering a race ;)
     
  20. tjodit

    tjodit New Member

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    Thanks to wackydeirdre and Eden for replying. I think there are several reasons and they vary from ride to ride. Some days the bottoms of my feet will start cramping so that it's uncomfortable to ride. Other days my hands, or arms will hurt. Simetimes it's my butt that starts hurting and wants off the saddle. And always it's a general feeling of fatigue. Not overwhelming...just like I've had enough...but if someone held a gun to my head and said ride some more or else, then I would be able to ride longer. I think that riding alone also makes it easier to quit or take a shorter route. I ride once a week with a group. They break up into two groups about 10 minutes into the ride. The moderate group takes off and doesn't stop for anyone. The "beginner" group stays together and if someone has a flat or whatever then everyone stops. I can't keep up with the moderate group and don't like the idea of being dropped and having to ride by myself. But the beginner group is just a little too slow for me. I usually ride between 12-13 mph (probably slow to all of you) but the beginner group only goes about 10 mph. I take a Camelbak with 2 liters of water and drink about 2/3 of it in 2 hrs. I sweat (or should I say glow) a lot...the glow actually drips off of me. I just started riding this spring and could only stay on the bike about an hour before having to quit...but I improved fairly quickly but just can't get past 2 hrs. I have to admit to having some extra weight to drag around too. So I know losing weight will help. But that's easier said than done. I'd like to move up to riding 50 miles and then I'd like to try to ride a century.

    I didn't think about "training" to ride a century. I now realize there are a lot of reasons to "train" besides racing. So any advice is welcomed.
     
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