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Now that the cross season is winding down, what are most of you guys doing to keep fit with snow right around the corner?

We all know about weight training and indoor trainers/spin classes, wbut what else is out there? Is running even an option? What about rowing machines? I hear those are intense, but pretty expensive

It would be nice to have something like a Surly Pugsley, and just be able to float on top of the snow and still pedal.

surly puglsey

Big Wheels 😮

As much fun as this would be, being on the bike year round can possibly be a deal breaker, and potentially lower your interest for riding midway through your next season.

Who has time to start a new off season hobby though? Cycling is expensive enough, what is it like trying to pick up a second sport that helps with the cardio aspect during the winter? I’m tempted to get a pair of skis, and while I’m hoping it isn’t that expensive, I still know it is going to cost more than a pair of running shoes.

Hiking! Even Chris Carmichael believes that this one is a winner. In his book, Time Crunched Cyclist, he states:

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

But, you say, you’re a cyclist, and you’ve made the choice to focus on the sport you love. That’s great, but more well-rounded fitness gives you more options for activities and adventures and won’t take anything away from your abilities on the bike. I live at the foot of Pikes Peak, and I know cyclists who have lived here for a decade yet have not experienced the sense of accomplishment and wonder that comes from hiking to the summit. It’s not a particularly difficult climb; in fact, it is conquered every year by thousands of out-of-shape tourists. But it’s a nearly impossible challenge for highly specialized cyclists because the 13-mile trail is too hard on their feet and hips, and they struggle under the weight of packs if they choose to turn the adventure into a 2-day camping trip. I’m all for maximizing sport-specific performance, but unless you’re making a living as a cyclist, I also believe that the benefits of nonspecific fitness are worth pursuing.

Okay readers, tell me what you are going to do this off-season, and for what duration/intensity?

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Training has come a long way for cycling since the first race in May 31, 1868 at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris. The primary training method for years was based on volume and intensity.

Volume riding is the amount of riding you would do. Intensity is a term to explain how hard you ride or train; think about high rates of perceived efforts. Typically high volume riding involved long rides without major wattage output on the off season, or on days you were not racing. As your training continues, volume starts to decrease, and intensity increases. Trading off from volume and intensity has been the staple of almost any kind of endurance sport.

Later, starting at a time when I cannot pinpoint a certain date, a type of interval training became the norm. The different types of cycling training were broken down and performed one by one on a seperate day. Ex:

  • Monday – Rest
  • Tuesday – Long Rides
  • Wednesday – Climbing
  • Thursday – Race Training
  • Friday – Relax Ride
  • Saturday – Race
  • Sunday – Rest

These days cyclometers, heart rate monitors, power meters and other types of training measurement are available.We know know that rest is just as important as the racing and training itself. The usefulness of modern training has made professional racing more efficient. Less grueling training has to be done, and we are not seeing as many riders racing to train during the spring classics. Racers are recovering better (drugs or not) throughout the year, and are not all wasted by the time that off-season starts. (more…)

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