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Thread: Winter Training

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    Winter Training

    Its getting close to that time of year up here. Days are starting to get shorter, the weather starting to get a bit colder. Night time now requires pants and a sweater of some sort to keep warm. Leaves are starting to change as well and its gotten me thinking about Winter Training.

    I've read quite a few threads on Trainers vs Rollers but I am still quite undecided on which would suite my needs the best. In a perfect world, I'd get both - but alas, its not a perfect world, and I can't afford both.

    I like the benefits of both and remember how boring sitting on the Trainer for an hour can be, even with TV on (damn commercials). I've never ridden on rollers before and could certainly benefit from a smoother pedal stroke and a stronger core for riding as well.

    So - my winter goals are basically to get in cycling shape so that as soon as the 'warm' spring weather arrives in April I can hit the roads quite quickly. I want to strengthen my legs and my endurance and be able to maintain a faster, steady cadence. I found myself to be a bit slow - slower then I expected to be - this summer when it came to rides with other people. Yes, I'm not fully adjusted to living at altitude, but thats only an excuse for so long. My legs were capable of every ride I did - just at a really slow pace. I want to be stronger and fitter coming out of the Winter then I've ever been before.

    But I am still split on which would be better for me - Roller vs Trainer - though am starting to lean towards the Trainer (i think) - it would require getting a new rear wheel for its tire-shredding abilities.

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    I think this thread (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...read-read-this) used to be stickied but it isn't any more. Lots of reading there.

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    I just ride all winter long. Much better than the indoor stuff, and more entertaining than tv.
    mainlytext.com/bike.html Bicycling in winter, the entertainment version

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    I'd probably die if I tried to ride all winter...the sub-zero weather, several feet of snow and ice, and the 3000ft climbs/descents that are all around me. So - indoors on a trainer or roller it has to be.

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    INTEGRATE bikerbert's Avatar
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    Talk to a trainer you trust about "metabolic circuits." They will give you a ton of bang for your energy use buck, and can actually keep in you cycling shape without having to ride.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I'm a roller guy, rollers with resistance, that is. Rollers without resistance are a tool, but it only has one blade. In the winter, I work on high cadence, OLP, and do some endurance work on the rollers. I don't do intervals in winter other than Tabata intervals, which work very well on rollers. I also lift weights in a gym, work the Stepmill, and take spin classes. Metabolic circuits are probably a good idea. I'll try them this winter. But non-bike training doesn't take the place of bike training. Even spin class isn't useful, other than as a fair aerobic workout in a fun setting. I like rollers because they're a hyper simulation of road riding. Even more effective than the road because of the lack of momentum in rims and rollers. I like very light rollers - plastic is fine. One can even stand on rollers or use aero bars once one gets the hang of them.

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    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    You really alluded to it... boredom. You need to mentally recharge yourself as well during your off months. I do intervals, and close my eyes and hammer DURING commercials and recover during the 'show'

    Also, do as much off the bike as you can. This is the time of year for weights, not during your season.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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    My living situation means getting to a Gym is just about impossible (and more expensive then I can afford). My off-season (off the bike) involves skiing once or twice a week depending on mood. My work provides me with a free season pass (I work for a ski company) otherwise I probably wouldn't be able to afford one myself. I am not that into skiing as most people, so usually only ski on one of my 2 days off a week. I've heard cross country skiing is also a good off-season work out and might be more feasible when it comes to cost.

    So, what I like about the rollers is that they don't chew up a tire as badly as a trainer. But then there is the space issue - won't fit in my room but should be able to fit in the comman area of the house i live in, by the TV. A trainer is much more compact and would easily fit in most places I think, but would require getting a new rear wheel to avoid shredding my road tire. So I think I am leaning towards the rollers at this point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcallaghan View Post
    I've heard cross country skiing is also a good off-season work out and might be more feasible when it comes to cost.
    That's probably the best cross-training you could do in the off season and way more enjoyable than riding indoors on a trainer. Get yourself some skate skis and have fun!

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Spinning classes. Sign up for an intermediate to difficult spinning class at your local gym once or twice a week. Combine it with a core work class and some weight lifting.

    Ride outside whenever you can throughout the winter.

    Do a bit of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

    And on the remaining days, hop on the trainer for 30-60 minutes, doing some base mileage or commercial intervals.

    By spring, you should be in pretty decent shape.

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    Once the now arrives, it will be virtually impossible (and insane) to be riding my bike outside until the snow melts. The peaks around here have already started to get some dustings, so in another month or so I expect to be seeing snow covering my backyard through to April. I live 8000ft up in the Rockies, so winter outdoor riding is out of the question. We don't see pavement here until the spring once the season gets going. I'm contemplating getting snow-tired on my old MTB and riding it the 2 - 3 miles to work though the hill here scares me (cruise at 25mph with out pedaling on my road bike).

    Gym membership is out of my budget here and is too large of a trip to make it worth getting out there after a long day of work anyways. I do live near a golf course though - I think they do XC Skiing there during the winter? I think I've tried skate-skis before...fine until going down a hill trying to stop. I think I might look for some local lessons (I think I get a discount on such things working for a Ski Company Resort) and go from there since I was in my teens the only time I've tried that. I'll certainly be doing down-hill skiing once a week if not more. A quick google search of my location reveals 60 miles of free access XC trails.

    I can also XC ski most of my way to work if I take the trail (once it snows). They groom the path and create ski-tracks on the side for the XC skiers - I assume skateskiing doesn't follow the tracks? I could do that to/from work everyday. I will look into acquiring some sort of XC Ski setup - a quick look shows them not to be too expensive (compared to skis)!

    I went ahead and ordered a Cyclops Roller w/ Resistance. Pushing the budget but I plan to give it a good 30 - 60 min ride once home each night. Should I get a beaded tire for it?

  12. #12
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcallaghan View Post
    Once the now arrives, it will be virtually impossible (and insane) to be riding my bike outside until the snow melts. The peaks around here have already started to get some dustings, so in another month or so I expect to be seeing snow covering my backyard through to April. I live 8000ft up in the Rockies, so winter outdoor riding is out of the question. We don't see pavement here until the spring once the season gets going. I'm contemplating getting snow-tired on my old MTB and riding it the 2 - 3 miles to work though the hill here scares me (cruise at 25mph with out pedaling on my road bike).

    Gym membership is out of my budget here and is too large of a trip to make it worth getting out there after a long day of work anyways. I do live near a golf course though - I think they do XC Skiing there during the winter? I think I've tried skate-skis before...fine until going down a hill trying to stop. I think I might look for some local lessons (I think I get a discount on such things working for a Ski Company Resort) and go from there since I was in my teens the only time I've tried that. I'll certainly be doing down-hill skiing once a week if not more. A quick google search of my location reveals 60 miles of free access XC trails.

    I can also XC ski most of my way to work if I take the trail (once it snows). They groom the path and create ski-tracks on the side for the XC skiers - I assume skateskiing doesn't follow the tracks? I could do that to/from work everyday. I will look into acquiring some sort of XC Ski setup - a quick look shows them not to be too expensive (compared to skis)!

    I went ahead and ordered a Cyclops Roller w/ Resistance. Pushing the budget but I plan to give it a good 30 - 60 min ride once home each night. Should I get a beaded tire for it?
    Don't know what you mean by "a beaded tire." You don't need special tires for rollers, though the rear tire will wear, though a little more slowly than on the road. The front tire won't wear at all. You might put a cheaper smooth tire on the rear to save a teeny amount of money, but I never bothered. I ride my ordinary road bike with ordinary drivetrain and rolling gear.

    If skate skiing is popular, they'll usually groom a skate track beside a diagonal track. OTOH, if it's a MUP, maybe not. Skate skis, poles, and bindings are a little pricey. I've always skied diagonal, but then there weren't skate skis until recently. It is the dream of many to be able to ski to work and back. Just wow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcallaghan View Post
    Once the now arrives, it will be virtually impossible (and insane) to be riding my bike outside until the snow melts. The peaks around here have already started to get some dustings, so in another month or so I expect to be seeing snow covering my backyard through to April. I live 8000ft up in the Rockies, so winter outdoor riding is out of the question. We don't see pavement here until the spring once the season gets going. I'm contemplating getting snow-tired on my old MTB and riding it the 2 - 3 miles to work though the hill here scares me (cruise at 25mph with out pedaling on my road bike).
    Riding in the snow is slow, but I wouldn't call it "insane". I've got this tire on the front wheel of my Surly, and it makes a huge difference. Soft snow isn't so bad, but around here the side roads aren't plowed, so the roads turn into a bumpy skating rink of compacted snow/ice after they've been driven on for a while. Studded tires are awesome for those conditions, and I'll probably splurge for the rear tire as well this winter.

    My commute to work sounds similar to yours - up a big hill, and about 7-10 km depending on what route I take (short and steep or longer and more gradual). Calgary doesn't get as much snow as it sounds like you get, but for me it's the cold that does it. Anything below -15-20 Celsius and I'm taking the bus. When it's flat the temperature doesn't matter as much, but with hills involved the dressing becomes trickier - overheating on the uphill, freezing on the descent.

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    Our roads in town are generally like that - they get plowed, but that just makes them more icy (crossing the street can, at times, be quite dangerous due to this). All rides out here - other then riding into town - involve ~1000 ft of climbing/descending in the first 4 miles, so riding any sort of bike during the winter is out of the question. Riding the 2.5 miles (or so- might be even less then that) into town would be semi-ok on the Mtn Bike but only if it had studded tires.

    I'd say average daily temperature (at least, when I'd be on the bike) would be constantly below freezing each day. Mornings here have already hit 32'f though thats not consistent yet.

    By beaded tire, I mean one that has a rubber wire through it (I've one back in 2003 when I was riding on a trainer). Its meant for use on a trainer - its slightly heavier due to the wire, but apparently less prone to wear on the trainer. But since I've gone with the rollers, i'll just use what i've got on the bike already. Can always get new tires in the spring if needed.

    Skiing to work also involves a decent amount of walking. Depending on whether the path outside my house is plowed, i'd have to walk down the hill to the beginning of the trail (or possible glide down, though it is a steep hill). The trail ends in town, at which point I'd then have to walk (and town will be plowed well on the side walks etc) the final 6 blocks or so to work. But still, gives me something like 2 miles of skating (takes about 45 mins to walk the same route in the snow) each direction which is better then nothing. Its also uphill (about a 3 - 4% grade) heading into town along that path, while being the reverse heading home.

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    Work has started back up for me and has given me the opportunity to talk to two people about what sort of XC Skis to get. Both have vehemently said 'SKATE SKIS!' as it is much more fun and more of a work out. The girl I talked to has never down-hill skied before, but strongly recommends Skate Skis as well though, when I told her what my plan was, definitively told me that its virtually impossible to skate-ski in fresh-powder of any sort. So I am certainly leaning towards Skate-Skis though will have to pay attention to the weather and learn when they groom the trail I plan on using.

    On the other hand, tomorrow is the Ski Swap in town. Apparently, there are some deals to be had. A coworker of mine bought an entire XC Ski setup, brand new everything, for about $150. So, if I can find deals like that tomorrow (i plan on going early) I may be able to walk away with a pair of both Classic and Skate Skis!

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    I ended up getting a pair of used XC Classic Skis, brand new boots, and poles, all for $160 at the Ski Swap. A pretty good deal if you ask me, and the shoes and poles won't need to be replaced if I decide to get a newer, better pair of skis down the line. A good thing too, as we got somewhere around the 6-inches-of-snow mark the other day (and over a foot on top of the mountain!). Way too much ice from the snowplows out as well, so the bike is inside for the remainder of the winter. I've set it up on the Rollers (with the front fork attachment) and need to start riding on it. I need to figure out something to hold onto for when I go free-wheeling on the rollers. Current setup is in my bedroom, so not anything close by to grab onto (maybe the wall).

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcallaghan View Post
    I ended up getting a pair of used XC Classic Skis, brand new boots, and poles, all for $160 at the Ski Swap. A pretty good deal if you ask me, and the shoes and poles won't need to be replaced if I decide to get a newer, better pair of skis down the line. A good thing too, as we got somewhere around the 6-inches-of-snow mark the other day (and over a foot on top of the mountain!). Way too much ice from the snowplows out as well, so the bike is inside for the remainder of the winter. I've set it up on the Rollers (with the front fork attachment) and need to start riding on it. I need to figure out something to hold onto for when I go free-wheeling on the rollers. Current setup is in my bedroom, so not anything close by to grab onto (maybe the wall).
    Put the rollers in the doorway when you ride them. You don't really want to grab onto something, rather have something close enough on the drive side that you can touch with a shoulder or elbow. Put them in the doorway and take off the front fork thingie.

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    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I think many people get hung up on how to train, or what to train with, and forget that they have to simply do it. If you had the entire summer and didn't improve to where you want, you need to examine why?

    i strongly suggest getting a very specific training plan, putting it on a calendar and checking off, recording in some way, each session. Having that sort of data lets you very quickly see at the end of a month, it the issue is the training plan, or your lack of following it, that's the issue.

    if you just asked me, I would have believed I was riding 5000 miles over the summer, but if I go back to my logs, it's more like 3000. Everyone naturally believes they are training harder/more than they are.

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    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    Give yourself a little mental break from rding. This is the time to work on your upper body, core and legs. Exercises that ou can't do or don't have time to do when logging your miles in the height of your season.

    Squats, core, push-up's, curls, flys. Cross-train with another sport or activity. Sure, spin our legs - but without intervals till January.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiPHRaPH View Post
    Give yourself a little mental break from rding. This is the time to work on your upper body, core and legs. Exercises that ou can't do or don't have time to do when logging your miles in the height of your season.

    Squats, core, push-up's, curls, flys. Cross-train with another sport or activity. Sure, spin our legs - but without intervals till January.
    I absolutely agree on this. You have to take a short break after the season, a week or 2 not biking, afterwards a few weeks only fun. Afterwards, the drive to go training will come back by itself. Training core stability is also very important, will help you a lot when doing longer though rides.

    Instead of training indoors, you might want to discover the beauty of driving outside on colder and dark days. After work, relaxed, just making kilometers on a easy pace.

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    Didn't do nearly enough riding to warrant a mental break from it.

    Snow has finally arrived out here, but by the time it arrived I had family in town, then got sick. First day of XC Skiing was about a week ago and I found it quite enjoyable (just a 45 minute training session, first time doing the classic style). I picked it up quite fast. But then the age-old injury to my ankle flared up that night and the next day. I didn't consider that there was a lot of ankle motion and flex and apparently my ankle isn't quite up to that level of flex. I am hoping that the more I XC ski, the more flexible my ankle becomes. I scheduled an appointment with a Dr. to see if there is anything to be done about said ankle, only to come down with the Flu. Today is my first day back from the Flu, though I know I will be weaker then I was a week ago due to the fever I've had.

    I've hardly skied this season either, partly due to conditions, partly due to illness etc. Hopefully back to normal for me next week. I also need to start getting on the bike (on rollers) and start putting some time in on that. I may try my planned morning route on the XC Skis tomorrow to see how that route is. It only opened up recently.

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