5 tips for cycling training in the winter
One of the questions our coaches get asked the most in the run up to the colder weather and darker nights is how young riders can keep training safely in the winter.
Ex-pro cyclist and coach Ali Slater has these top 5 winter cycling tips to keep you fit and your skills progressing without compromising your safety.
Get involved in Cyclo-Cross
Getting off-road is the obvious first choice. You don’t need a special bike to get involved with cyclo-cross and you can keep racing through the winter. CX races take place literally anywhere - your local woods, local fields - all you need is a mountain bike to take part and make sure you’ve got a good set of lights. You’ll pick up loads of new skills and bike handling techniques throughout the winter months going off-road and racing in CX events.
Get set up for indoor cycling
Turbo training sessions can be incredibly useful. Our coaches are often busy coaching during daylight hours so in the winter they use early morning or evenings to get an hour in on the Turbo. With Zwift you can have a really good, time efficient, structured session.
If you don’t have a Turbo trainer you don’t have to spend a fortune to get yourself set up for indoor training on your road bike. Basic Turbos start at around £100 but it’s always worth browsing facebook market place for good quality second hand stuff.
If you’re under 16, you can get a Zwift account for free.
Practice skills on a safe grassy area or get ‘off road’
When it’s dark, it’s not nice to be on the roads. So find yourself a large grassy area to practice skills. If your garden isn’t big enough, look for a local grassy park or piece of land and practice bunny hopping, starts and get some cones and make up a course for yourself to practice your skills.
If you live near a cycle track, they are often floodlit when outdoors or if you live near an indoor track, problem solved!
Attend our Youth & Junior Development classes
Yes! Our Youth & Junior Development programme is coming back for the winter starting on 4th October. Through our structured training plan, we’ll cover all the important off-bike training and each week you’ll take part in a race on your Turbo/Zwift. It’s so much more fun when you’re racing against other kids and the coaches.
Take part in a totally different sport
By doing a totally different sport, you’ll really help your progress on the bike. Cycling is a non- impact sport, so doing an impact sport - such as running or football - will not only help protect your bones for later in life but will strengthen your muscles for cycling.
By getting your heart rate up doing something totally different, you’ll also be keeping on top of your fitness levels which will make you an all round better athlete.