There’re no such thing as bad conditions, just bad gear!
Will asked, “I started riding this year and really enjoy it. I’d like to keep riding this winter but a trainer sounds boring. Is it reasonable to ride outside in winter?”
I responded “Yes you can ride outside and with proper gear you can enjoy it.” I offer detailed advice on:
- Clothing for different parts of your body.
- What nutrition to eat and drink, how to carry it and how to eat and drink in the cold.
- 11 tips on winterizing your bike.
Yes, base endurance training increases:
- The endurance of your cycling muscles by increasing both the size and the number of mitochondria where aerobic energy is produced in your muscles.
- The efficiency of your heart so it can pump more blood to your muscles.
- The amount of carbohydrates you can store in the liver and muscles.
- The capacity to burn fat during long rides.
You can’t exercise as much in the winter so what should you do? In this column I review the physiology of less training and offer practical suggestions on what you should do:
- Frequency and volume
- American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendations
- Three sample weeks
- Mixing moderate and intense exercise
- Exercise snacks
I go into more detail about the benefits of endurance training and describe ways to do endurance training:
- Have a motivating goal
- Ride tempo
- Ride laps
- Ride outdoors then indoors
- Split up your rides
- Cross-train aerobically
- Practice good nutrition
- Dress appropriately
This column describes in detail eight ways to train this winter:
- Set specific goals for a ride
- Train for endurance
- Add appropriate intensity
- Train in the sweet spot
- Clothing for exercising in the cold
- Eating and drinking in the cold
- Ride the trainer effectively
I wrote this column when I lived in Boulder, Colorado and would do rides up to 100 miles when the temps were in the 20s. I thought I was tough until I moved to Tabernash, Colorado so I could cross-country ski in the winter. On Friday it was in the single digits and windy when Carol and I skied.
Elizabeth Wicks describes in detail how she dresses to ride in Massachusetts.
- How to guestimate how many calories need while riding. If your computer gives you a different burn rate, use your computer’s estimate.
- How much fluid you need.
- Importance of breakfast
- Snacking before a ride
- What to eat
- What to drink
- How to carry food
- How to carry nutrition
- Eating and drinking regularly
My two-article Cycling Past 60 bundle includes sections on off-season exercise:
- For Health I discuss the physiological changes of aging and give you comprehensive fitness programs that address these changes:
- Training principles
- Aerobic exercise
- Resistance training
- Weight-bearing exercise
I combine these into three balanced, full-body exercise programs for different seasons:
- Base training
- Main season
For Recreation I cover training fundamentals and add four new training principles. I explain how to gauge intensity and describe 10 different types of rides of different intensities. I provide three balanced, full-body exercise programs for the off-season, base training and the main season.
The 47-page Cycling Past 60 bundle is $8.98
As we age, consistency becomes more and more important. My eArticle Off-Season Conditioning Past 50 applies to roadies in your 50s, 60s, 70s (like me) and beyond. Whether your goal is long-lasting physical health, the joy of physical activity or continuing athletic performance, this eArticle will teach you what to do in the off-season. It includes:
- A circuit resistance training program with 18 different exercises you can chose.
- A 12-week off-season training program including the resistance exercises.
The 26-page Off-Season Conditioning Past 50 is $4.99.
My Cycling Past 50 Bundle includes:
- Off-Season Conditioning Past 50 – how to best work on your off-season conditioning given the physiological changes of aging.
- Healthy Cycling Past 50 – what happens as you age and how to incorporate cycling and other exercise activities into your daily life to stay healthy and active for many years.
- Healthy Nutrition Past 50 – what to eat and drink to support both a healthy lifestyle and continuing performance.
- Performance Cycling Past 50 – how to train to achieve more specific cycling goals given the physiological changes of aging.
The Cycling Past 50 Bundle totaling 93 pages is just $15.96.
My eBook Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process describes in detail different strength training programs depending on your goal(s): 1) increase endurance, 2) address atrophy and increase power, 3) improve for hard riding, 4) build stronger bones. I include 30 illustrated exercises for lower, upper and core, which require very little special equipment. I explain how to combine resistance exercise with endurance and intensity training, which varies by season. My 108-page eBook Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process is $14.99.
Coach John Hughes earned coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. John’s cycling career includes course records in the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200-km randonnée and the Furnace Creek 508, a Race Across AMerica (RAAM) qualifier. He has ridden solo RAAM twice and is a 5-time finisher of the 1200-km Paris-Brest-Paris. He has written over 40 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John’s full bio.