Monday 21 September 2015

Winter Training: What will you be Doing?

The road season is just about done; time to think about a few weeks off the bike, perhaps a few beers before concentrating on that all important winter training. But what should we all be doing through the off season? Long steady distance, quality extensive endurance guided by a power meter, Turbo training, Cyclo-Cross? “Local Riders, Local Races” spoke to the main protagonists (and others) at the recent VC Venta race to find out what they would be doing through the winter.

Tim Elverson (Pedal Heaven) “Have a proper break, you need to be hungry to get back on the bike, I don’t condone filling yourself with beer & pies because you have to get rid of that weight again, one or two blowouts is fine. Get a good block of road miles in before Christmas, because you tend to get a period when you cannot road ride and are confined to the turbo. Not junk miles, you have to keep your zone right and you need to tickle a few zones to make sure they don’t completely switch off. We ride on power and tend to ignore heart rate. Our Continental guys will go to Spain in December for a few weeks to start the base, a good base will get you through the season, you can still do well on a bad base but your season tends to be shorter and its harder to improve on the previous year if you just do the same old stuff”

Oscar Hutchings (Bikeshed-UEX) “A bit of a break am starting a new job so a few beers a bit of Cyclo-cross, then build up the long weekend rides, starting off at 2 hours 30 mins then build in some tempo work, I use a power meter and heart rate, I will use the turbo for intensity and intend to start that earlier, by December”

Andrew Syme ( “No beer, lots of miles and I am looking to get a coach”

Mitch Webber (Pedal Heaven) “ A lot of miles I guess and hopefully go to Spain a few times to get a big base. Up to Christmas it will be more miles and then afterwards incorporate a bit of structure with a power meter, I don’t use heart rate, I love power. I will have a two weeks off the bike in October and maybe do a little gym work, you need a bit of time off, you need some rest”

Danny Axford (Arctic-Tacx RT) “My 17 mile each way to commute keeps me in shape over the winter”

Malcolm Dixon (Dream Cycling RT) “I have a two week break, a holiday in Spain, I won’t take the bike. Winter miles with a power meter, its key, I absolutely swear by it. A little bit of cyclo-cross, I have not done that before. I start out the winter doing a bit of strength and core stuff, then I go to Spain in January and February, I am a guide for a tour company and get loads of miles in”

John Veness “ The odd beer,The Ottershaw race series, long miles and some mountain biking, I came from mountain biking”

Warren Jesse (Team Moore Fitness) “ I just don’t stop riding, I will ease back,steady riding, a bit old school really. The winter is about miles, no watts or heart rate for me, I just go on feel. If I was new to it I would use power but I have been doing it for 20 years now. I am going back to pedal Heaven, the shop team next year to add a bit of experience, they are looking to get a few more youngsters, two or three more perhaps
John Heaton-Armstrong “ It depends on what racing you are going to do I guess: Up until December I will do lots of nice long rides, enjoy the countryside and essentially do what you are not able to do when you are racing and if you are going out for 6 hours I would say that’s training. I do a bit of mountain bike racing so will do a few of the Gorrick MTB races for a bit of fun. My first big races are in March, I am away in December, then its all about the turbo in January, definitely Watts, it’s a no-brainer, having a plan is essential, the hardest thing about a hard training session is starting it, if you have a plan then you have something to stick to. The though process of what session should I do is taken away, have a plan and stick to it”

Rob Hurd (Unatt) “I don’t know, if I am going to race next year but you certainly have to be training by December”

Well there you have it, it seems power meters are the future as if we did not know it, structured training, warm weather camps and that old favourite, long miles. There are many ways to reach the top and they all involve hard work but for now kick back and enjoy that beer.

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