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training for the winter - cycle, cross-train, or hibernate?(13 posts)

training for the winter - cycle, cross-train, or hibernate?Fez
Oct 2, 2002 6:43 AM
What's a good way to train over the winter in order to be in top cycling form next summer? I'm in pretty good shape now - built up a good aerobic base, do some midweek intervals, and also do a long weekend ride.

But I'm not sure how to approach winter training. I feel as though I want to continue straight thru the winter, but am afraid I'll burn out by spring. Should I lighten up on my cycling and do something else, like hike, mtn bike, and workout in the gym? Then in Feb or March should I build my aerobic base back up so I peak a couple of times in the summer?

I am afraid to lighten up the cycling now because I remember how painful it was to build up the aerobic base earlier this year.
fixed gear?DougSloan
Oct 2, 2002 8:45 AM
I had fun doing fixed gear training last winter. It presents a whole new set of challenges, so it's almost like doing another sport.

Lots of people do something else, but I like to train year round. Maybe do some fun group rides or cross?

fixed gear???filtersweep
Oct 2, 2002 2:35 PM
Everyone seems to say "fixed gear"- do any of these people live anywhere near Minnesota?

I'll probably stay indoors all winter, contemplate moving... maybe take up cross country skiing for something cardio outdoors (we don't even have mtns so ski on here). Even CC skiing costs a fortune in equipment- makes cycling look downright cheap!
in that case...DougSloan
Oct 2, 2002 3:34 PM
I'd say get a Computrainer. I would not ride outside in Minnesota in the winter, either. But then, I'm a wimp.

CC gearSteve_0
Oct 3, 2002 3:22 AM
you can get a descent setup for under 400 bucks. Wait till end of season (ok, too late for this year). Can often find some waxless rossis, poles, boots for 300-350.

Not the highest end of the line, but your just looking to maintain cardio, not trying to impress the skibunnies.
Oct 2, 2002 8:47 AM
Depending on when your season starts next year, and how hard you've been racing this season, I'd say either cross-train or take a month or two off completely.
If you train straight through, the risk of overtraining and losing fitness increases. Your aerobic base is pretty easy to maintain, and doing other activities helps keep your body and mind from getting bored. I'd say running, X-country skiing, or hiking a couple-three times a week is plenty. I'd keep theses sessions short and free-form. Then, come February, hop on the trainer or take some good spin classes to build your anaerobic power and increase your endurance. When the weather permits, get out for some long, not too hard rides, and then concentrate on peaking. I'd have to recommend looking at Joe Friel's training bible, as it's stuffed with info. That'll help you build a personalized plan.
"Your aerobic base is pretty easy to maintain"Fez
Oct 2, 2002 1:18 PM
So once you have it, how easy is it to maintain?

How many long, slow, distance rides per week? How long for each ride (in hours or miles)?
I think the point is ...Geardaddy
Oct 2, 2002 5:36 PM
... that you can do any activity to maintain your "aerobic base", not just riding. If you're concerned with getting a jump start on next year's racing, then it's your legs that will require specific bike-race-oriented training, not your lungs.

Hell, if you are in Minnesota I would definitely go with the cross training approach, as continuing to ride with the same training schedule will be difficult. Give your mind and your body a break and concentrate on maintaining overall fitness, increasing strength, and not getting injured.

If you live in the twin cities area, then congratulations - you live in arguably the best urban location in the U.S. for X-C skiing. It has a relatively long season, consistently good snow (stays cold), no altitude, and lots of quality trails in your back yard - so take advantage of it! I can't think of a better activity to maintain overall fitness and build strength (especially in areas that biking does not excercise).

When springtime approaches, then start hitting the weights and getting out to ride again to build those legs up.
No fixed gear.Breakfast
Oct 2, 2002 8:14 PM
I feel I'm in the minority because I think the fixed gear is a waste of time and money. You can do everything you need on your regular road bike and besides, what are the pros doing? Not riding fixies I'll bet.

If you can ride, ride! The bottom line is to keep up the strength and aerobic base, so if you cross train you will need cycling plus a new and different and challenging activity. Mountain biking, cross country skiing, weight training, spin classes are a few of the top ones.

Riding your road bike and not a fixed gear means you can use gearing to climb hills for strength in the right gear. Spin your gears to keep cadence high for leg speed training. Use the brakes against your pedaling in turns and to slow down for handling training. And if you need to ride a fix gear, get on the track.
fixed gear is fashionable right now.Steve_0
Oct 3, 2002 3:31 AM
I agree with you in many respects,

There are absolutely benefits to fixed gear training. HOWEVER, those SAME benefits can be realized with either strict discipline and/or limiting the deraileur.

My primary ride is a home-grown fixed gear, however for utilitarian reasons (over 10 years of heavy use, never swapped more than brakepads, chains and a 15 dollar cog). an EXCELLENT reason to own a FG or SS is for economy.

I do find this current trend of rushing out to buy a brand-new trackbike for roaduse interesting. Seems counterintuitive and spendthrift to me. To each his own though.
Bottom Line about Fixed Gear - Its a BLASTRay Sachs
Oct 3, 2002 4:16 AM
I ride a funky old road frame with funky parts (except for a reasonably nice fixie rear wheel) - other folks buy brand new track bikes or cyclocross bikes with horizontal dropouts. Doesn't matter - its ALL fun. There are training benefits (I always feels stronger in the spring if I've been riding a lot of fixed over the winter), but they're secondary - the main reason to ride fixed is because its fun and HIGHLY addictive.

Find 100 people who've tried riding a fixie and I bet you don't find more than two or three who didn't fall in love with it - THAT'S not fashion.

riding is fun. true enough. nmSteve_0
Oct 3, 2002 4:38 AM
Speedskating. Summer is the off-season. (nm)Stampertje
Oct 3, 2002 2:47 AM