Episode #74 – Winter Cross Training for Cyclists

Episode #74 – Winter Cross Training for Cyclists

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This show is dedicated to those that live in snowbound winter climates. I present 4 cycling alternatives to build and maintain aerobic fitness based on a criteria of easy to learn, cheap to start, potential to compete, and easy to access.

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Snow is the enemy of cyclists. And no, I’m not talking the kind that flows through the air on a chilly night. I’m referring to the thick white stuff that blocks roads, that covers the ground making it impossible to ride at any intensity. Sure you could get in a shitty ride in some hard packed stuff, but overall it’s pretty useless and not worth trying.

You may be a southern hemisphere dweller and have never experienced a snowy winter. Or your season is flipped upside down and you race all winter long. So there’s little use in talking about doing any other sports during a race season.

THis show is dedicated to those that live in snowbound winter climates, the unlucky ones that can’t ride outside all year round. If this isn’t you, then I will be covering the benefit of taking up some other type of sport in your off-season. But for now let’s get back to the snow.

It’s true you can go straight into a cross country ski season when you hang up the bike for a year. And it’s a great option – but it’s another expensive lycra clad sport. If you have a history in the sport, then sure. But if you’re just starting out in the snow, or you want cheaper alternatives. I’ve got a list of 4 sports and their benefits for your cycling when spring has sprung.

Before I get cracking though. I’m predominantly addressing the endurance aspect of cycling. Winter is a great time to hit the weight room, yoga studio or local indoor training group. But if you want time in HRZ2 then we are talking about long slogs. None of these alternative sports or activities will improve your cycling directly.

They will strengthen your bones, muscles, and tendons. BUT they won’t help you with your pedalling efficiency or cadence. That’s why I recommend at least two 1 hour sessions on the trainer over winter. Which should be manageable by most people, even those with large aversions to trainers.

I set the following criteria when looking at activities or sports that crossover well for cycling.

1. Easy to learn but hard to master

2. Under $200 equipment or club investment

3. Potential to compete

4. Easy to access terrain or location

Four Options for snow bound cyclists.

1. Running

2. Snowshoeing

3. Swimming

4. Rowing

 

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Photo Credit: thelearningcurvedotcom on Flickr

 

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