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Winter Training(3 posts)

Winter TrainingMainiac
Dec 19, 2001 6:42 AM
I have recently picked up a Cyclops Fluid Trainer and have used the video a couple of times and I must say for my fitness level it appears to be a good work out. In your opinions is this a good work out and what sort of riding should one do on the other days, IE just spin??

Carpe Diem
depends on your goals...lonefrontranger
Dec 19, 2001 8:32 AM
OK, I'll bite. What are you looking at doing next season?

If you plan to race, and your racing season doesn't start until late March / April, then it's good to be riding indoors if the weather doesn't allow, but you might try to avoid doing too much intensity right off the bat. The Cyclops video is a great program, and very motivating. It's really easy to justify cranking out intervals on the trainer, and it's tough on the mind and tush to ride long slow distance on it. If you have the equipment (lights) and time, take your beater or MTB out in the evenings and do "urban assault" or trail rides to help gain ride volume. I'm blessed with a lot of convenient open space / multi user dirt doubletrack near my house, so I'll go out a few nights a week on the cross bike or MTB and crank out 12-15 miles of dirt. I often commute to work (11 miles) when there's no ice on the roads, and when the weather doesn't allow commuting, I bring my bike and take a long lunch - it's easier to go home at 6.30 if I've got a 2 hour ride in for the day already.

For the non-trainer days, you should do Zone 1-2 low intensity aerobic work. The majority of Cat III-V and fast recreational riders really don't need to do much more than 2-3 hours of long slow distance per session, unless you're training for centuries. Even Cat III races don't last for more than 2 1/2 hours, so you really don't need to do those five hour rides unless you truly enjoy that and have the time to ride that much. I got a lot more quality out of my training once I realized that most womens' races don't run more than an hour and a half, and started targeting my training accordingly.

I recommend to save the build / intensity period until late February to avoid early-season burnout. However, one hard ride a week won't hurt you, and if your goal is to drop your ride buddies in April, or to increase your speed for a century, then doing intervals now won't hurt a bit.

Every season I see guys who come out guns a-blazing and kill everyone in the March and April training races because they did tons of intensity in December / January. However, when the State championships, major stage races and big money crits come up in June / July, all of the sudden these "morning glories" are nowhere. You can only hold a peak for so long. Bike.com has tons of great training info in their archives, and I'd also recommend checking Joe Friel's book out of the library.

Good luck!
depends on your goals...mainiac
Dec 20, 2001 6:37 AM
Thank you, I do see that it was a kind of wide open question but your answer was very much appreciated and Friels book is on my XMAS list

thank you
Seasons Greetings and Keep riding