With the time change this upcoming weekend, darkness will fall earlier each day making it more challenging to fit training rides in the schedule. You’ve worked hard all year long, it seems a waste to let your fitness fall off. Given that the days with long sunshine hours are ending, what are the best strategies for continued training and maintaining fitness?
Time management – It all begins with time management. Scheduling your workouts in your calendar; shifting meetings and family obligations to early morning, late afternoon and early evening; and optimizing your lunch hour as ride time, are three areas that can assist in getting your scheduled training in during the daylight hours. Again, the idea here is to create a plan and stick to it. If you plan a ride during the daylight hours and miss it, then it creates stress on how to make that ride up. So, if you do, then night riding becomes your option.
Night riding – To begin, don’t be afraid of the dark! Get the right bike parts and cycling apparel to ride and you’ll be inspired to do it. Remember, visibility is crucial – for you and your bike. Outfit your bike with a good light system. You will want lights for the front of your bike. Consider having multiple lights for the front of your bike. One on your helmet so you can shine side roads and traffic and have a second light on your handlebars so you can see at least 10 ft. or more in front of you. For the rear of your bike, opt for a rear red light-particularly one that blinks. A blinking red light is much more likely to get the attention of a passing motorist who might otherwise not notice you.
Don’t forget to wear cycling apparel that is visible. There are options to choose from including vests and ankle bands. Also, reflective tape is a good idea. 3M makes black reflective tape that is great to put on black wheels.
Indoor riding – Maybe you just can’t swing riding during the day and night riding isn’t your thing. You can maintain fitness with indoor training on the trainer. Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer. Yet, there are ways to make it work. Check out our post, Trainer Techniques for Winter Training for tips and suggestions on getting the best out of your indoor rides.
Now that the time change is upon us, it doesn’t mean you have to put your cycling regime on the shelf! With an enthusiastic attitude and a few bike part changes, you can shift your end of season cycling experience to be the best one yet!