Coaching tips for Winter Training

Peter Anderson is our British Cycling club coach and British Amateur Weight Lifting Association Instructor. He is also an accomplished time triallist. He offers to club members advice and support on all aspects of training. Here he gives us his winter training tips.

Well done to those of you who achieved your goals this season. You can treat yourself to some new kit, you deserve it. Those of you who ended up with disappointing results need to talk it through with a coach who can help analyse what went wrong and help you to develop an annual training plan for 2006.

If you kept a training diary and the season went well for you think about adding 5%-10% on top of your winter training miles. A competitive club cyclist needs to be looking at clocking up a 1000 miles before the New Year. This means that you cannot afford to take too much time off at the end of the season. Setting goals for next season should be your immediate priority. Base them on what is realistic for you and then work out how much time you can afford to invest in achieving them. Once you have done that you will need to break up the winter into 4-6 week periods of progressive training, finishing with your first event some time in March.

The Sunday club ride is a good starting point but they donít suit everybody. Club rides should be steady rides that are well within your capacity. Do at least one other ride on top of that until November when you need to steadily increase your mileage according to your goals and the time you are willing to invest. By December you should be riding four days a week. They do not have to be on the road. Using a static trainer makes a lot of sense in the winter months as you can get in some quality work in safety. Using an indoor trainer will enable you to work on specific aspects of your training like hill climbing, sprints and time-trialing.

Cross training is a great way of introducing variety during the winter period. Swimming, in-line skating, running, skiing, mountain biking and cyclo-cross are all ways to gain aerobic fitness. Cyclo-cross and mountain biking are particularly good as they will help you develop bike handling skills.

If you are a member of a gym ask the staff to devise a weight training programme for you that is suitable for a cyclist. Using weights helps you to maintain strength and develop power which you can use to your advantage in the early season. Do not spend too much time in the gym; you are there to work on cycling specific exercises not to look good on the beach.

Finally try and work on any physical problems that you may have. For instance if you have been having back problems try and organize a visit to an osteopath and get some advice on back strengthening exercises. Winter is the best time to work on your weak points. Donít have any weak points on the bike? Just ask the opposition they know them all.

If you need any help, advice or questions on the above, contact Peter Anderson, club coach.

Other coaching articles
Winter training
Early season tips
Club 10s
Preventing cramp
Training for the mountains