Thursday, February 8, 2007

Winter Training

Having crashed twice in the past week on my arduous, hellish, and epic 1.6 mile ride into work, I've decided rather than complain about the solid purple tattoo on my left hip, I'd post a few things that I've found helpful in training this winter.

  1. Don't be a hero. This means if you haven't been riding much, or at all, don't pop in a 2 hour Spinerval DVD and expect to zip through it. Start slowly, say only 45-60 minutes at a time, and taking every other day off. Once you can consistently not hurt the next day, start to ride 2 on, 1 off, and so on.
  2. Rest is a weapon. A good night of sleep, 8 hours, has made an amazing difference in how I feel the next day. Turns out parents do know what they're talking about. Also a nightly massage is fantastic, and really helps the legs the next day, although often you have to pay your faithful assistant a backrub in return, but it's worth it.
  3. Have a plan. Sounds simple enough, but is easy enough to overlook/forget/be too lazy to do. Start by figuring out how many hours a week you can commit to training/riding over the next four weeks. Then divvy up those hours/minutes into 4,5 or 6 days, and decide what you're doing each day. Then write it down. This keeps you honest, focused and prevents you from working too hard, too early. It also gives you a reference as the winter goes on.
  4. Leave some gas in the tank. You should be able to walk after a workout. Go hard during the intervals you're supposed to, but don't do too much now. Burnout in August is a lot different than burnout in February.
  5. Get outside when you can. Remind yourself what the outside is like, and why you're riding for hours at a time inside going nowhere. I've found 32 and no snow is the magic line for me and the road bike, although I know some of you out there are far more brave than I.
Other comments, ideas? Comment away folks.


KimC said...

Cross training helps me get thru winter when I can't get out on my bike as much. I've tried lots of things to get thru riding on the trainer but I hate it! Usually I watch the weather closely-any decent day, I make a plan to get out on my bike. Most of my winter riding is on town trails, Pioneers Park-the hiway is too barren for me in the winter! I also have a purple tattoo on my left hip-:)

gravy said...

Me, right hip.

The snow, the slush, the chemicals, the sand... don't forget to take care of yer ride during these winter months. Think of the chains.

(Uber jeaslous of them "nightly massages." If you tell me you got a jacuzzi at yer house I'm gonna flip-out.)

Adrian_O said...

Racquetball and spinning indoors gets me thru. Especially racquetball, 3-4 times a week.

nicol said...

I walk/run and spin at the gym. I have thought about taking up yoga or pilates for more flexiblity...anyone done that before?

butro78 said...

Have been doing the all weather commute thing (6 miles round trip) for about 6 years now and this is the only winter that I haven't crashed. I still sport a huge area on my left thigh that I affectionately call my "shark bite". For some reason the bruise made my skin sink in and there is an indentation. And the accident was from two years ago!!