This time of year is tough for athletes because it is hard to follow a training plan with unpredictable weather and waning motivation to be indoors on the trainer.
This post will cover off some of the challenges and solutions for spring training including not having the ability to continue to increase your training hours, being sick of the indoor trainer, having inconsistent weather and not being in the ‘right’ location for your desired training.
We all want to train more and many plans will try to keep increasing your ‘base fitness’ or Training Stress Score (TSS) but for most adults there is a limit on how much time we can train each day, week and month. These are our 3 favorite ways to increase your hours, without really increasing your hours!
- Move more with family and for errands – we love to add a walk with heavy packs after our main workouts on the weekend
- Add short lunch workouts, even walks ‘count’ – many clients have asked for longer lunches or later starts and now can get that mid-week long ride in before work.
- Get up earlier *AND* go to bed earlier, reduce screen time. This isn’t always an option but screen time is worth tracking to see.
- Arrange ‘child care swap’ with another athlete friend. This can work great for new parents to get a long ride in each week.
- Doing strength instead of biking is often a more time-efficient option for the very time-limited.
Spring brings weather that will make training tricky to get in. Some of the focus of your spring training is this transition outside, so embrace that adding the variable of ‘outdoors’ to your training is making you more fit for the task of outdoor bike riding. Yes it takes time but it’s also important! A few of our favorite ways to deal with inconsistent weather:
- Get out door, just start and see. It’s often (very often) not as bad as you think it is or what other people say it is.
- Combine the indoor trainer with outdoor riding. Plan quick transitions and be ready to come indoors or stay out!
- If you have indoor rollers use those to start incorporating more balance and attention AND make a fast transition outside!
- Mix strength into rides to mix it up if you are getting bored.
- Commit to ride with a friend, decide on a minimum time and tough it out together.
- Ride a mountain bike or bigger tires on roads and paths to stay warmer and reduce risk of slipping out.
- Do your strength (you may notice a trend with this recommendation!)
TIRED OF TRAINER
If you started riding indoors in the fall you are understandably getting tired of being indoors. It has been too long since you did the sport you love! Depending on your weather it might be time to sneak out for even a short ride or to do some errands or you might need to mix up the indoor routine to get through a few more weeks!
- If you have indoor rollers use those to start incorporating more balance and attention
- Mix strength into rides to mix it up if you are getting bored. Chunk up the workouts by getting off for 1 minutes of core/strength every 10 minutes!
- Try a class, whether that is spin class or cycling specific to get some social time and pushed a little harder.
- Ride outside – bundle up with really warm/waterproof clothes and just ride around town.
- Do a SUPER job on your strength is also a great ideas since many of us (me included) don’t do strength because we are riding. So if you are not riding, DO YOUR STRENGTH!
It is not uncommon to want to be somewhere warm in the spring. Social media will show you how ‘everyone’ is away in Spain and tropical destinations getting tans and putting in the miles. We have some ideas here too:
- Remember that Staycations are in many ways superior to traveling to camps (we have a post on this)
- Try driving 10-60min to access different terrain. You might be surprised what getting a little further south or closer to a hill or sheltered path or forest might do to your riding options.
- Point to Points – this is one of Peter’s favorite training tactics. Setup a scenarios where you have to ride from here to there. This can help you through bad weather and also to access new areas that are further away.
- Ask around – Many areas have solutions for cyclists to train, even the biggest cities. There are often hills for hill interval days, industrial blocks for longer repetitions or old closed road areas that cyclists can train in safely and effectively.
- For good measure, when in doubt do strength! It is a very flexible and benefitial option missing from most cycling programs.