Go Pedal: Cold-Weather Training

October 14, 2016

Keeping prime for race season

By Molly McGarry

Photo at right: Team Audi member, Hugh Barrington, from Seattle, stays in top cycling shape year-round. Photo by Dennis Crane of DBC Photo, courtesy Cascade Bicycle Club


While less than ideal winter weather conditions might leave you feeling unmotivated to train on your bike, here are four great options to keep you primed for next year’s racing season.

Get Involved at a Local Bike Shop

Check out your local bike specialty shops as many of them have indoor-trainer sessions during the winter season. Here you may have the opportunity to ride on your own bike so you don’t miss out on saddle time. Don’t own a bike trainer? Some shops have extra trainers to use for indoor group rides. This is a great environment to meet other cyclists who can help hold you accountable while also making new friends.

Join Indoor Cycling Studios or Fitness Centers

With several cycle studios opening throughout the city, there are plenty of indoor opportunities to join coach-supervised workouts. Most gyms may have cycle or spin classes on their schedule where you can drop in to get a great workout, while cycling to inspirational music to keep you motivated in a group setting.

Train for Strength and Flexibility

Winter months are great for building a strong foundation of strength and flexibility that could translate into faster and stronger rides during race season. It is beneficial to add in strength training to your workout regimen; this helps
aid in injury prevention which can allow you to remain in good health for longer rides.

The most frequent nuisance to training for many cyclists is tightness or pain in the lower back, hips and hamstrings so attending a yoga class can also be a great addition to winter training to help keep your muscles flexible and your body moving properly.

Organize Friendship Training Rides

It’s a long lonely ride by yourself in your house on your stationary trainer, so why not endure it with friends? Corral a group of cycling buddies for indoor training sessions together. You can plan a time and place each week and trade off who leads each workout. This is another great way to maintain accountability for your workouts without having to miss out on riding your bike, even if it is stationary!

These tips can help build a strong foundation during the winter months that can help set you apart from your competition before race season starts.

Editor’s note: Do you have other winter riding tips that help you stay in shape? Send those to us and we will post them online. Please send email here

Molly McGarry is currently the Group Fitness Director and Personal Trainer at Northwest Personal training in Vancouver, Washington. She specializes in corrective exercise solutions and triathlon and race preparation.