After the racing season is over and winter sets in there is a good period of time when cyclists can look to analyse and improve on last years results by putting in some hard endurance miles.
It is important you give yourself a few weeks rest between racing and training to recuperate, then start building up your base. Think of your base as the foundation of your fitness. Building a strong base during the off-season will enable your body to cope better and improve when your pre-season high intensity workouts start.
To maintain and develop your aerobic capacity over the winter you need to put in some long miles. Once or twice a week you should be aiming to get in some long rides, depending on your goals will depend on the length of these sessions, but to improve your aerobic fitness they should be 2 hours plus. They should be done at a pace, which requires little concentration on the training, (for once you will be able to take in the scenery of your rides).
My five tips to winter training success are;
Set a goal and get a training plan. Going from the structure race season to an off-season can leave you feeling a bit, lost! To keep on track set your 2015 goal in October and work your training out for the off and pre season aiming for your goal or goals.
Make sure you have good tyres on your bike whether its road or mountain bike your going to need more tread and potentially a lower tyre pressure to add to your grip.
Wear enough layers and don’t forget your head, feet and hands. Good gloves and over shoes are a must especially for long sessions, lost feeling in your toes and fingers will lead to cutting your training short.
Mix it up, the winter is a good time for cyclists to do some strength training to build strong core muscles.
Don’t forget to drink. When riding in the cold, it’s easy to forget to drink but, with warm winter kit on, you could still be losing significant fluids through sweat and compromising your performance.