Reality is setting in. The group texts have cooled off. A few riders pop up every now and then, but face it: the season is over and training should be in full force. Many, many cyclists use this time of year to “recuperate” and take some time off. These are the same riders, in March, who request a moderate pace because it’s early in the year. If you are serious about getting better as a cyclist . . . train like one.
This past week was my first official strength and conditioning week, with 40-60 miles tacked on to keep my legs turning. I must say it went well. Weight training has provided soreness which has caused me to wince and walk like a duck, but it just means I’m getting better. Many times the winter training time period can feel isolating. Here are three ways to pep up even the most arduous winter routine:
- New bike (sort of): using the time to breath new life into your seasonally-tired bike by changing a few things. Replacing the saddle, maybe a new wheel set (hey it’s cheaper than a whole new bike), different color pedals, or try a different color scheme (starting with the bar tape) are just a few ways to have the feel of a new bike.
- Cross training: trying a sport that you normally wouldn’t do is a great way to add some fun to your workout routine and give your body a wake up call. Have a goal, maybe actually seeing your abs when the new season comes in or by lifting a certain weight. Don’t fall back into your comfort zone. Find something different that gives your body a kick in the pants.
- Training Partner: the cold season can often make a big debate break out between you and yourself, mainly the subject of “should I train today.” The answer is yes, but sometimes you need that person who you know is expecting you to show up to give you a little shove in the right direction and visa versa.
Training in the winter is like opening a new business: you have to think long term investment. The time you put in will pay off next season. BUT you must have very specific goals in mind that you want to achieve. I am actually shooting for a more sculpted and stronger core that tops powerful legs . . . without letting my VO2 drop. Yeah, I shoot high. The idea is just to have fun while working hard. Don’t sit around and wait for the next season. Be the guy that other riders will notice next season.