Cycling is a sport with a lot of variety in all sorts of different disciplines, whether that be in a group or by yourself, long or short distance and even outside or indoor. While staying fit for cycling is a year-round endeavor, summer is definitely the most popular time for cyclists to appear on the road and outdoors because the weather is so conducive to it. However, if you want to actually train seriously and stay fit while doing it then you need to practice during winter too, and that is when it can get difficult. Here are three keys for winter training as a cyclist.
Indoor Winter Training
Depending on where you live, snow and freezing temperatures might make it physically impossible to cycle outside. Even if you don't live in an extreme area like that you still might want to consider using an indoor winter training facility for a few reasons:
- The track is much safer than a potentially sleet-covered road.
- You have access to a lot of warm-up machines that let you get ready in comfortable temperatures.
- You are more likely to train if you know you won't be outdoors in the biting cold.
- Many fitness coaches run courses and train individuals during winter months where your routines might change.
- You get a lot more accurate data so you can track your progress more effectively.
Of course, you aren't going to go to the indoor winter training facility every day, and even a couple of times a week might be pushing it. That is why your home-training setup is so crucial to your success. This is where you really need to spend a little bit more money to get similar results to what you would find in summer. Online bike training lessons and classes have helped many people stay consistent, as has a schedule of weekly targets they need to hit. Try to keep it as realistic as possible, with minimal distractions, no television or podcast, and under racing conditions.
Set Year-Long Eating Habits
It is so easy to get bloated during winter, not just because there is less chance to be outside but also because you are more inclined to crave hot, greasy foods that just make you feel good during cold temperatures. Having a plan to bypass those cravings is key, whether that is by making a healthier alternative and having regular protein and meal supplement shakes. These decisions can help you avoid feeling too hungry and returning to places where you might be tempted the most. Of course, treating yourself is also good every once in a while, especially after a long ride, but maintaining focus is the only way to come out of winter still in a competitive shape.