A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Winter Training

Colorado winters drive me indoors to
our library/workout room.
My number one fitness goal this winter is to avoid the winter weight gain that hit me hard last year. I stuck with my maintenance miles goal after Cycle Oregon and ramped up my miles on my CycleOps Fluid2 indoor trainer in December to account for the extra calorie consumption I knew would come with the holiday celebrations.

So far, so good. I gained a few pounds between Christmas and New Years but have already dropped back below 220, which is about 15 pounds lighter than I was at this time last year. I didn't get below 220 until July! I'm looking forward to NOT hauling that extra 15 pounds around when I get back out on the road.

My CycleOps Fluid2 indoor trainer.
In the meantime, I am working on building my aerobic and endurance base with my indoor training. My biggest battle with winter training is boredom so I have several routines I follow on the trainer to vary my workouts and keep it interesting. Some days I will do intervals for 30 minutes while others I will keep it at a pace I can maintain for 60, adjusting the resistance up and down gradually.

One of my "go to" routines is a take on a workout I remember from high school track called ladders. My version looks like this:

  • 1 minute at my "flat road" gear (~90 RPM)
  • 1 minute at a moderate climbing gear (~80 RPM)
  • 1 minute at a steep climb (~70 RPM)
  • 1 minute at a moderate climbing gear (~80 RPM)
  • 1 minute at my "flat road" gear (~90 RPM)
For a 30 minute workout I will warm up for five minutes spinning at 10 RPM then do 4 sets of ladders (20 minutes) then cool down for five minutes.

Another simple interval workout is to spin at >100 RPM for one minute, then drop back to ~80 RPM for one minute, adjusting resistance up and down every two minutes.
Check out these five Quick Cycling Workouts for Power and Endurance from Bicyling.com.

My goal for January is to ride a minimum of 50 miles a week (30 mins a day for five days) to maintain my current fitness level. I will bump that up to 75/week in February and March. By April I hope to be getting back out on the road for longer rides on weekends and in May I will start riding to work (25 miles each way) when possible (depending on work and weather). 

What is your winter workout routine? Please share your secrets!

Ride on,


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