At the start of the winter season many athletes shift their focus to the turbo and long, steady weekend miles as they slip back into training ahead of 2017. A lot of athletes will have set some basic goals to achieve for 2018 but in reality a key motivator for winter training is setting micro goals to build on through the next few months when the motivation to get the leg over the saddle might not be as strong as race season.
Try out a few of our top tips to keep yourself motivated and focused heading into 2018!
Regular benchmark testing - test early and then often, every 6 to 8 weeks. This gives you a real insight into how you are performing and developing in each cycle of a training block or programme and allows you to set micro goals between each test. As a general rule our athletes target an average 3-5% increase in FTP between each test with 3x tests per winter.
Learn to recover like a pro - recovery is the biggest key to turning all those pedal revolutions into fitness. Sleep, well managed nutrition and some good old foam rolling are some of the best areas to maximise the recovery impact. Our athletes tend to take a 3-4 recovery period off the bike for every 6-8 week block of training to ensure they remain physically and mentally fit all winter.
Cross train - got a mountain bike or cyclo cross bike hiding in the garage? Get it rideable and tear up the trails to add something different to your training plan. Creating new routes, especially off road, is a great motivation to get out and ride. And if it has knobbly tires then it is meant to get dirty! We are all big kids at heart so get off road for some winter miles.
Set technical goals - everyone has weaknesses, the elite athletes just work on theirs to minimise the impact they have. Use the off season to set goals around technical aspects of your riding that you can develop and incorporate within your training plan. A great example is time trial riders using rollers twice a week during the winter to work on pedalling technique to develop a fast and smooth leg speed. Setting a target 20 minute RPM average of say 110+ for the end of a 6 week block is a great example goal.
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