How To Approach Your Winter Training
Years gone by we used to pluck up the courage to venture outside into the cold mist to find a hill or two. Call it old age or maybe because Mrs Notinthepeloton treated us to a turbo trainer, the weather is not much of a friend to us anymore. That's not to say we won't riding outside but for us, there's got to be a purpose behind it whether it be just to clear the mind or because we have had a few days of eating bad! If you're looking for a bit of guidance this Winter, Richard Lang from Spok'd has put together some very helpful advice to keep the wheels spinning when the going gets tough and the box of Roses is calling...it's all about the caramel ones!
Winter training can be tough. You spend hours spent in the zero degree weather, dreaming of the summer months rolling around. How can you maximise your time out there, how do you avoid burn out, how do you stay healthy are common questions you may ask yourself and others on how to approach your training during the winter months. Here are four tips to help you get through and enjoy winter grind :-) Have a goal
Training is so much easier when you have a goal. It brings purpose to what you’re doing. It doesn’t have to be winning the world championships (well it can be) or beating that KOM time when you were in peak fitness last summer. It’s about finding that goal, which keeps you accountable. By doing this, it allows you not to fall into the depths of untrained state. With your main event in the summer, your winter goal can be varied from focusing on your weakness or strength. Or can be even more specific such as not allowing yourself to drop below a certain avg. speed on your favourite circuit or it can be frequency training goal throughout the week.
“Training is so much easier when you have a goal”
Plan it out
Now that you have your goal, you need to work backwards from when you want to achieve it or when you want to focus on something different. By planning it out, enables you to bring structure to your training. It provides a birds-eye view of how your weeks can look and insight into where are you going, your north star. For example, map out your weekly routine: Monday - Rest Tuesday - 30 min turbo Wednesday - Bunch ride with a backup turbo of 45 mins Thursday - Rest Friday - 30 min turbo Saturday - Bunch ride or solo endurance Sunday - Rest
Doing this brings accountability and avoids the thinking of ‘what do I need to do today’. Now that you’ve understood your weekly routine, map it out against your north star. As you go through this process, input your Christmas break and weekends away which provides you with a perspective of a realistic training load.
“Structure out your training to help avoid ‘What do I need to do today’. It brings greater purpose”
Maybe one of the essential element of training that is neglected. It is only through recovery that your body can benefit from the hard training you do. In your mapping out phase of your training, factor in recover weeks every 3rd to 4th week of your training cycle. If you know you have a holiday coming up, you can even stretch out your training till then but be aware you may need to reduce the intensity or volume to go that extra week more.
“Only through recovery that your body can benefit from the hard training you do”
If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t ride it. We believe this the underlying factor to it all. Enjoying your training means you’ll swing over your leg on the turbo without second thoughts, head out on that bunch ride and dig that little bit deeper. Consistency in your training, having a purpose and enjoying it all has more significant effects than just improving on the bike. It improves your mental health, allows you to be in better physical shape and will positively impact other aspects of your life. If you have some tips and tricks that you use, please let us know or even share it in the Spok'd facebook group!