Riding with the Fuller Center Bike Adventure is a great way to get in shape, but we don’t currently offer rides in the winter. Here are some tips I have learned to keep in shape from the summer, and make spring training a whole lot easier:
- Set a goal. The only way to motivate yourself during the winter season is to have a reason! Sign up for an early spring event that will encourage you to get out and train when you need that extra push. While we are on the subject, the Natchez Trace ride with FCBA is April 5th – 14th!
- Keep riding outside! I know it is easy for me to say, being based in south Georgia, but this is the easiest way not to lose your edge. The winter can be a great time for developing your base fitness with shorter more consistent riding. Commuting to work is a perfect example of this type of riding, just be sure to get the gear you need to keep your extremities. In the winter, I use my ski helmet that has insulation and ear coverings built in. A solid wind-proof shell and some windproof gloves will go a long way towards keeping your body temperature healthy during these rides.
- Up your indoor game. There are a great many trainers and spin bikes on the market now. Find one with the features and price that meet your needs, and go for it. You can plant the trainer in front of your favorite Tour de France segment re-runs, or catch up on your favorite show. Whatever you do to stay mentally occupied, make sure to interval intensity to simulate typical road riding. This is also a great opportunity to increase your cadence. A cadence of 80 – 100 rpm help increase blood flow and endurance capacity. Practice intervals of 90, 100 rpm to stretch out your cadence comfort zone. Also focus on engaging your core and perfecting a complete pedal stroke!
- Team up with other cyclists. If you have a gym membership then you not only have access to indoor equipment, but you have access to teammates. Consider joining a spin class, the community that builds in the spin room can keep you accountable and excited to keep pedaling. Even if you do belong to a gym, you can build community by setting your early spring goal with a fellow cyclist. Having a teammate training beside you, or even far away, is a huge motivation!
- Cross-train. Variety is so important during the long winter months. If you are not keeping new activities on the schedule, you will have a harder time sticking to it. Sprinkle in some basic weight training, or winter team sports like basketball or volleyball to keep moving fresh. Focus on increasing core strength, and controlling your breathing throughout all of your exercises. Both are very important, but less discussed aspects of being a strong cycling. Cross-training can also help strengthen and stabilize your joints in ways that cycling may not. Having that strong base will also help you not develop injury when the spring starts and you jump back on your bike.
Remember that steady activity is the goal through the off-season, and that KT Tape can help with support and recovery during all your winter activities! Follow the Bike Adventure’s Instagram account for periodic KT Tape giveaways throughout the off-season.
I look forward to riding with you in 2019!