Cold, winter weather is right around the corner. While we are just getting a taste of the cooler temps, not too long from now we’ll be bundled up wondering where the sunshine and dry roads and trails have gone. The trick to riding through the Winter months is to prepare now. Preparation gets you in the habit before the weather turns poor. Here are our tips how to make the most of it.
Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer. As a training aid, cyclist love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months. Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle- specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding. Ugh. Is there a way to make it work? Yes! It’s important to have the right trainer setup.
When we’re talking about setup, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, and indoor riding clothes. If you are using a basic trainer, you may also want a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor. You might not think all of these cycling accessories add up to a great trainer workout, but if you’re looking to take your training to the next level, having the right bike parts helps support motivation and training consistency.
#2 Build Your Core
Most everyone agrees that building a stronger core helps you improve your performance on the bike. Moving into the cooler months, it is easier to cross train and focus on developing core strength. But what exercises are best for more core strength?
The best way to train all parts of the body is through working with a full range of motion while strength training. A bench press, for example, will only work your arms and shoulders through a fixed range of motion. A great way to gain core strength and work full range of motion with many repetitions and longer durations is through practices that primarily use body weight such as yoga and pilates, for example. Ashtanga and power yoga are styles of yoga that are faster flowing, continuous, and challenging. Yoga is hands down one of the best way to work for aerobic strength gains throughout the entire body. Not only do you focus on many repetitions such as with pushups, squats, and lunges, you work each joint in a full range of motion while doing so, which focuses on core endurance, stability, and flexibility.
In a nutshell, a core group of muscles that fatigues less will allow you to work with increased power ranges for a longer period of time while riding a road bike or mountain bike. With more range of motion, increased flexibility, and a stronger core, you will not only feel better before, during and after each workout, you will be slightly more productive as well.
#3 Dial in Your Cycling Apparel
You don’t want to miss riding outdoors all together. So, it’s important to dial in your cycling apparel for the type of riding you will be doing. Specifically, when you are riding, you want to balance your warmth and comfort with the intensity of your bike ride. If you are really bundled up when you start riding, you will likely want to start shedding layers. It may feel good to sweat in 25 degree weather, but you want clothes that are both breathable, wind-stopping, and sometimes waterproof. You also want to evaluate the type of ride you are doing? Is this a training ride? Will you be working really hard? Or are you just going to work?
With all that in mind, get clear on the type of cycling apparel you have in your existing wardrobe and identify the clothing you need purchase to enable you to ride in a variety of weather conditions. Be mindful of having waterproof and wind resistant clothing. Check do see if you have enough of the basic cycling necessities, as in leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap? What about your base layers? Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing? Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs! In fact, we’ve got quite a lot of new cycling clothing in store right now.
When you think about it, it’s easy to embrace winter riding when you are warm and toasty. So prepare now. Get your trainer setup ready – make plans to cross train and build your core – and figure out your cycling apparel needs to avoid a clothing crisis on a Winter bike ride.