This past weekend was probably one of the last we’ll be able to enjoy with so few layers. The weather for the East West Grovelers Race this next weekend looks to be decent at 50 degrees. After the chilly weather sets in for real, what do you do to stay in condition?
So many cyclists I know complain of the winter weight that sneaks up over the holidays and hangs around until the spring weather warms up and the days get longer. Indoor cycling programs that use interactive displays like Zwift, or Trainer Road, are increasingly popular and many enjoy them. Others go to spin classes. Still others have rollers or trainers and watch TV while putting in the miles. Some people do more cross-training. How do you stay motivated? I do ride outside all winter long, but don’t get as many miles in. (Winter miles are worth twice summer miles, right?) One thing I’m noticing more as the years go by is that I have to pay more attention to maintaining conditioning, since with more years, one loses it more quickly. Also, the need to warm up and avoid over-use is increasingly getting my attention. I practice yoga, (and teach it) so that’s a huge help in keeping my body able to put in the big miles, and even race. Still, maintaining, much less improving performance becomes more challenging when the knees get creaky.
Recovery is becoming more important, too. Though I do ride every day, I am trying to take it easier after longer, more intense rides. That requires allowing more time to get places. All this is requiring more research, but I know that I’m healthier and happier throughout the long winter months when I stay on the bike and keep up a routine.
Cycling with friends is of course a motivator and a big reason the interactive programs are popular. If you’ve found anything that you think helps keep you motivated or in better condition, share it with us!