Create a Performance Boosting Winter Training Plan
January 12, 20217 min read
Winter trainingdoesn’t have to be battling wind and rain, and the cold. You can make the most of cycling with an indoor trainer. With an established winter training plan you can improve your distance training, practise for events and Grand Tours, and prepare for summer sportives. Make indoor training over winter the ultimate tool to improve your performance over the off-season.
How Indoor Cycling Can Improve your Winter Training
Indoor cycling is the best and safest way to improve your performance over the colder months. You may wish to continue your winter training by speeding along country roads and climbing local hills. However, when the roads are covered in rain, ice, and snow, it can be dangerous for any cyclist, no matter how experienced. Training indoors in winter withindoor bike trainers offers all the benefits of real-road cycling, without the hassle of dragging your bike out of the garage. You can maintain your regular winter training, without concern for traffic, weather, or numb fingers from the cold that leave you struggling to grip your handlebars securely!
Our smart bikes are designed to perfect your winter training, providing the benefits of indoor cycling, without needing to battle the elements. With accurate data readings to help you improve with every ride, andcompatible cycling apps, you’ll make the most of your winter training. Cycling indoors means you won’t have to tackle the worst of the season, such as black ice or face-stinging rainfall which can reduce visibility.
Benefits of a Training Plan for Winter
Plotting your winter workouts can help you stick to a schedule and reach your goals. A plan willguide you through winter training, keeping you consistent with your indoor cycling workouts. Encouraging you to persist over the holidays, when finding time to train may be more difficult. If you set out a realistic winter training plan, you’re more likely to stay on top of your targets. You can harness the benefits of having a winter training plan with a smart bike. These give you tailored ride insights, and prepare for sportives and the cycling season with dedicated workouts and training plans.
Smart Bikes for Winter Training
A smart bike enables you to adapt your winter training however you like. TheWattbike Atom smart bike offers a real-road feeling, putting thoughts of ice roads and dangerous conditions out of mind. All in one place, ready to use, smart bikes provide tailored workouts without any of the hassle ofturbo trainers or bike rollers. No more dragging in your dirty road bike, connecting and disconnecting, or risking mud tracks on your clean carpet! When choosing between aturbo trainer or smart bike for your winter training, the smart bike is the natural choice. Keeping your performance at the centre of its features, you’ll complete your winter training, and be ready for the cycling season.
Unrivalled data accuracy and seamless connectivity makes our award-winning smart bike a realistic indoor cycling experience, perfect for winter training. The Atom helps you improve your pedalling technique through our unique industry measurement -Pedal Effectiveness Score andPolar View. Providing live left and right leg balance feedback during your pedal revolutions - will get you closer to your objectives and refine your pedal stroke.
Take a benchmark test to set yourFunctional Threshold Power and your workouts will be personalised to your fitness ability and push your performance improvements over winter. With ergo mode, you can automatically change the resistance of each workout interval. Leaving you free to focus on your winter training pedalling technique, in a safe environment away from busy roads or hazardous cycling conditions.
With tailored elements such ascustomisable gearing, you can perfect your ride style to mimic your outdoor cycling. Choose compact, semi-compact, or climbing gearing options to feel connected to each session.
Make the Most of Off-Season Cycling
While you may struggle to complete your winter training exploring the great outdoors, due to the slippery roads or dark winter nights. Keeping up with your winter cycling training plan can help you learnhowto cycle faster by the summer months in preparation for events and races.
Winter training can help you prepare for cycling events and sportives you want to tackle once the cycling season kicks off again. With theWattbike Hub, you can find tailored workouts to recreate sportives and boost your training. You’ll findsportive training plans to help you tackle the challenges of these races. From 50 mile sportives, 100 mile sportives, or even 1000km races. Be prepared when the sun and cycling events return.
How to Plan Your Winter Training
When it comes to winter training, having a set out structure can help to establish what it is you want while planning your off-season.
Outline your targets so that you’re prepared when the summer kicks off again.
Ensure your winter training plan is specific, measurable and time-bound. That’s how you’ll be able to keep on track of your objectives.
Establish a tailored, realistic plan to help you see improvements.
Keep it varied. Ensure your winter training plan contains different aspects of cycling that cover your overall fitness. For example, your plan may involveperiodisation to build slow and steady miles to work on your fitness. As well as containinglong distance base training to improve your endurance with longer rides at a slower pace.
Check in with your plan regularly to make sure you’re keeping on top of your targets.
We’ve crafted a programme to help youstay motivated over the colder months. TheWinter Cycle Training Plan helps you make the most of the off-season on your smart bike. This professional cycling winter training plan will build your base fitness, keep your motivation high and get you in the best shape before spring rolls around.
How to Perfect Your Indoor Training Set Up
The best way to stick to your winter training is toperfect your indoor cycling set up. This includes selecting yoursmart bike saddles and pedals to tailor your experience. Here are some things to consider:
Saddle height - The saddle should reach your hip bone when you are standing next to your smart bike.
Saddle horizontal position - The saddle should be slightly angled to ensure your knee is directly above the centre of the pedal when the pedals are horizontal.
Handlebars - The handlebars should ideally be at the same height as the top of the saddle. Additionally, you’re looking for a 90˚ angle between your arm and torso when on the bike. However, these will depend on personal flexibility and comfort preferences.
Comfort on your bike is essential. Your winter training may be helped along with equipment to help you stay on track of your goals:
Fan - Whilst winter training may mean the temperature is lower, it’s important to recreate that real-road feeling, and avoid overheating while you exercise. Anindoor cycling fan pointed at your indoor cycling set up will help keep you cool, as well as recreate the feeling of wind on your face as if you’re cycling outdoors.
Dongle - TheANT+ dongle will connect your smart bike to a cycling app to help you simulate outdoor cycling and real-road sportives and Tours.
Heart Monitor - Aheart rate strap monitors your heart as you workout, so you can track any progress in your winter training.
Floor Mat - Whilst afloor mat provides a convenient place to keep your trainer and avoid any scrapes on your floor.
Pedals - Improving your pedalling technique means having the rightpedals to help you chase your targets.
Saddle - Depending on the goals of your training plan, you may want acomfort saddle with extra cushioning for added comfort on long sessions. Or aracing saddle, made for the serious athlete or cyclist, offering a low design for a comfortable ride.
Cycling in Winter: What to Avoid
Winter training on your indoor bike trainer can be straight-forward and hassle-free, but whether you're starting indoor cycling for beginners, or you're more experienced, here's what to avoid:
Ensuring you take a deserved rest to helpcycling recovery is important. You don’t want to go into the cycling season feeling you’ve had no time to recharge and mentally prepare for your summer cycling training. Taking time to allow your body to adapt to the change is essential, as well allowing proper recovery after each winter training session.
The first is avoidingworking too hard and overtraining. Pushing yourself to the very limit with every session is not the only way to improve. When you push your body too hard, you may actually see declines in performance, because your body needs a break. You may also experience poor sleep, exhaustion, and be more at risk of injuries. All of which won’t help you chase down your winter training goals.
Knowingwhat to eat after cycling can help to recover your body after a hard session. Your muscles need important protein and electrolytes to rebuild and repair, for your next winter training session. Without the nutrients to refuel your body, you’ll find yourself struggling to set new personal bests and find each session a struggle.
Being Unprepared for the Outdoors
For those times when you do want to get outdoors, if the road conditions are safe, you need the right equipment. Ensure you have the rightcycling sportswear to keep you warm and ventilated during those cold morning rides. Make sure your lights are fully charged, and you’ve planned your route ahead so there are no unexpected issues. While winter training outdoors can be great for the body and mind, you need to ensure you’re properly prepared.
Improve Your Cycling with Wattbike
At Wattbike, improving your cycling performance is easier than ever thanks to ourcycling data. You’ll find tailored insights to your training every time you ride. Whilstperformance tests help you benchmark your progress and reach your goals.
Training is tough, there’s no two ways about it. But getting started shouldn’t be – here’s 5 steps to making the most of your indoor riding this winter, and partner your training with the Wattbike Atom.
The best days in the great outdoors are built on the foundations of the best days indoors. New to the Wattbike Hub is a series of workouts designed by elite racer, coach and resident gravel guru Charlotte Backus, showing us how to smooth your time on the rough stuff.