Monday, December 10, 2007

The Best Winter Training?

This question is the one I have been getting asked the most and the answer is not an easy one. Most of the information you read still focuses on building the aerobic base during the winter months. These LSD (long, slow distance) rides are incredibly boring but sometimes necessary if the endurance is not up to par. Working on speed in December seems crazy to most since you won’t be putting down the power in anger for a few more months, it’s just too early right?

WRONG – everyone we encounter wants to go faster. Whether that is dropping time off your best 40k TT or getting another MPH or two on your average speed for your favorite loop, going faster is fun. Now is the best time to work on this area and come out flying in the spring.

A very simple approach is to hit the gym twice a week for some basic multi-muscle group movements to build some strength. Squats, push-ups, pull-ups and the all important core muscles are the key movements you should work on. Better yet, get a trainer to work with you once a week to keep you on track. Stay away from the isolation exercises if possible and build up to some explosive, plyometric training.

In tandem with the strength training, intervals 2x/week should be done. You have to train fast to go fast. A mix of short duration sub-maximal intervals and some threshold intervals of 5-20 min will add speed in no time. Essentially the same type of training you should be doing in season.

Most of us are not and will never be elite athletes. Focusing on basic strength and speed building workouts will pay off huge dividends in the spring.

Good riding – Coach Kevin

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