The Cycletribe Guide to Winter Training For Road Cyclists

For many cyclists after the summer of sportive riding, racing or just getting out on their bike a bit more, they might take a break before the winter with every best intention to get back on the bike around October.. Eventually they say ‘I’ll start back training on November 1st' , then December, and before you know it Christmas has come and went, and now it’s January. If this is you then now is a good of a time as ever to build good habits going into 2022 by starting off with this guide to winter training!

But where do you start? Gauging your fitness level can be difficult after the festive period, and it may seem daunting to go on group rides with cyclists you know have been clocking up big miles over the last few weeks so I suggest for the first couple of training spins getting back on the bike to go solo or with someone of a similar fitness level you know won’t make life too hard on the spin! Riding with fitter riders is a tried and tested way to ‘get fit quick’ but if you can make it more enjoyable for yourself when starting back your body will thank you for it!

One of the key factors to success in any level of cycling is to keep it fun, if your training becomes a monotonous chore every day you’ll quickly start looking for ways to avoid doing it. A good start before you think about getting up on the bike is picking some attainable and achievable goals for this year, this could be as simple as increasing your overall fitness, or a specific event a few months away. Whatever your goal is, having one is just as important as the training aspect of cycling, by setting goals you can have a clear set plan in order to achieve your goals.

To start off your training you should begin with a hour spin or however long you feel comfortable doing, pick a route that’s familiar to you so if you start to suffer you’re not in unfamiliar territory. You have to build into cycling fitness again gradually, if you go straight into a 4/5 hour training ride you risk putting yourself off cycling completely for another few weeks. You have to make time for everything else in life first and (sadly) prioritise work and family commitments first before you can fit in the cycling, as the reality for the majority of people is that cycling won’t pay the bills..

You have to make the most of the hours you do have to train by not just falling into the “junk miles” trap of riding aimlessly for a couple of hours and coming home like you haven’t even broken a measly sweat! Luckily for you we have plenty of indoor smart turbo trainers available at which can be a great tool for the time constrained cyclist. If you have access to the gym it can be a great tool to build some extra strength for the muscles you wouldn’t train as much whilst cycling, even if you don’t plan on adding any huge mass to your body it can be a great choice for cross training and great to keep it interesting.

You really do get out of cycling what you put into it as the old saying goes, by sticking to a routine of consistently training you will quickly see yourself reaching your fitness goals and whatever other cycling goals you’ve set for this year. We wish you all the best of luck and we’re always on hand to answer any training questions!

Until next time. Sam Gilmore