WINTER TRAINING…. some advice and tips

Hello everyone,

Well October is coming to an end, I am not sure how you are all doing but I have struggled through October.

It has always been a real ‘dead’ month for me, the season has finished and the nights start to draw in and to top it all off the weather is getting colder and some how amongst all that you have get your head around starting all those winter training miles to prepare for next season which right now looks so far away!

Well, as I said October is nearly over and on the 1st November I intend to start my preparation for my first Ironman in Lanzarote next May. I have the RG Active Training Camp to look forward to in March but until then I will be in the UK riding and running in whatever the British weather has to offer me!Here are a few things that I can offer as advice to help the Winter pass a little easier and make the training you do count, in preparation for a fantastic 2009!

1) Try to train with others.

As good as training on your own, at your own levels and your own pace is, training with others is a great way to keep the enthusiasm going. Everyone has those mornings when you look out of the window, its wet or just looks miserable and you think ‘I’ll leave it today or go out later’ (like that ever happens). Well if you have arranged to meet a group or some friends it is often enough to give you that little push and I promise, if you go out you will be so happy with yourself and always have a great session.

2) Nice and steady, but longer!

Winter training is all about increasing your ‘base’ fitness from which to build from when you start getting ready for the race season. The level of intensity should be generally a lot lower than you would train at during the summer. You also want to lengthen the period of time you train for, because the intensity is lower you can do this easily, it also tends to help prevent injuries because you are not battering your body as you do high intensity work on cold muscles, as your muscles will never work quite as well in cold weather. This is increasing your aerobic capacity (your heart and lungs) and will make a huge difference to your racing come May/June. I good tip for Winter training is to get a Vo2 test and from that your target heart rate training zones can be established and this will enable you to structure your training and work at your optimums!

3) Get yourself a ‘TURBO’ Trainer.

A Turbo trainer if you are not sure is a indoor trainer that allows you to ride your road bike indoors and escape the horrible days and also with the days getting so short through the winter it is perfect when you get home from work and can’t or don’t want to go out in the dark.

Above: A picture of what I consider the best brand of trainers ‘Tacx” and if anyone would like further details, information or advice on the models that Tacx do please feel free to contact me: rgactive@mac.com

What a Turbo is good for is structuring your session in a controlled environment not having to worry about traffic, weather etc. A general rule of thumb is that time on a trainer is worth almost twice what time on the road is worth (eg. 1 hour turbo = 2 hours on road), so even getting on and spining your legs out for those winter miles will be beneficial!

4) Clothing

This is one of those things that many people don’t think about enough. The kit your wear in the winter is vitally important, if you don’t wear enough or don’t wear the correct technical fabrics you can find yourself getting ill, injured. There are some fantastic clothing out in the shops and online now, and things that you should look out for are products with ‘Windstopper’ fabric and ‘Gore-Tex’ fabric, these help fight off the elements and with cold winter riding the cold winds on your chest are famous for giving people chest infections and add rain to that equation and its very unpleasant. I will let you know that RG Active have a range of Winter Cycling Kit coming out soon so keep your eyes open as it will be on sale in the next few weeks! A good reminder is to also buy COLOUR, it livens up your wardrobe and any group ride and will always make you more visible when outside for road users!

Above: A picture of the Summer RG Active Kit in Action out in the hills of Monaco during this summer. The Winter kit is dark colours (for obvious reasons) and will be available soon!

Well I am leaving you all alone now, I don’t want to send you all asleep.

If anyone want to know anymore about any of the points I have made in this blog please email me rgactive@mac.com.

I hope to hear from you all soon, and I hope everyone has a great winter and stays ‘happy’ and ‘safe’!

John

One thought on “WINTER TRAINING…. some advice and tips

  1. lanzarote Fan says:

    Hi,came across your blog by seeking something about Lanzarote.I saw the Turbo trainer,can you tell me where i can buy this indoor trainer,i did not see this type in the Netherlands.
    Lanzarote Fan

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