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Old 01-01-14, 10:32 AM   #1
3dMark
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Winter training advice

Hi everyone, and happy new year.

I'm not quite 50, but close enough. I used to cycle a lot and am looking to get back into it. I have a trainer at home and am planning to get into good enough shape over the winter that I can do some riding in the spring. My favourite local routes are 40-80km.

My basic question is, what kind of training is a good plan for getting back into cycling shape? I have been trying to do regular rides on my trainer of 10km, 5 days a week, at a vigorous pace, with the idea that it's better to ride often even if the rides are short, and better to do shorter courses faster rather longer courses slower. I should mention that my trainer is a Wahoo Fitness Kickr, and my go-to route has some decent hills.

Does anyone have any ideas? Is this a good way to get going?
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Old 01-01-14, 10:38 AM   #2
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You could get some training DVDs. There's lots of them, like Spinervals.
Spinervals are tough, I'd suggest starting with the first one.

You could use a coaching service, like CTS.

You could use a plan, either devise a periodised plan, or use a standard one.
That's all a basic coaching service would do, work up a periodised plan.

There's software.

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Old 01-01-14, 11:29 AM   #3
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There are plenty of training schedules that you can look at on Bicycling Magazine's free web site. Keep in mind that most, if not all, are for much younger riders and are geared more toward racing than endurance/fitness and fun. Almost all of them include a combination of intervals and spinning which has worked quite well for me, but I think the best way is to just get out and ride as often as you can. For you guys up in the cold country, winter doesn't sound like a good time to start riding, even on a trainer. Trainers can get boring after a while and sticking with it while doing the exact same thing each time can burn you out. But if you have no choice but to use the trainer, try different things each time so you break up the monotony; intervals one day, spinning the next and throw in some "just get on the bike and pedal" rides. You can try some of the training videos/software that's available if you want to go all out. The Sufferfest series of training videos is a good place to start.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:23 PM   #4
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You're right up to a point. The essence of training is to stress your body so it responds by getting more fit. If you want to ride a century you need to work some distance so you break in your butt and get your core/back used to time on a bike, but long slow rides won't make you faster and increase cardio fitness as well as intervals so my basic advice is to do work some gut wrenching intervals into other good paced distance rides that involve longer time in the saddle.
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Old 01-01-14, 02:14 PM   #5
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This is really helpful, thanks. I just spent lots of time googling and reading based on the pointers you all gave me. Wonderful.

I think for now it sounds like I should keep doing short courses most days, and throw in the odd longer course. If I do courses with hills, it's not full-on interval training, but should have some of the same effect.

I'll look at the more serious training once my basic conditioning is further along. I think that getting too serious about structured workouts too early risks taking the fun out of it.

Do any of you use Trainer Road?
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Old 01-01-14, 04:30 PM   #6
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Just stay positive when you move from the trainer to riding on the road. It will probably seem a little harder at first but give it time and you should acclimate pretty quickly.
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