Sports play a big role in our lives, and it is hard to even describe their significance. For recreational athletes, it is mostly about being healthy and fit, whereas professional athletes aim to constantly better themselves and win their competitions. For indoor sports, the season and time of year do not play a crucial role in determining how or where the sport will be played. All you need is some kind of an arena, and you are good to go. However, there are sports that are tightly bound to the outdoors, and a change of seasons can be detrimental for those who are determined to practice. Cycling is no different; in winter, freezing temperatures, snow, and ice make it very difficult to simply go out and ride. Skipping training for several months is not an option –so how do cyclists stay in shape and train during the winter months?
They write their goals down
The shift you are going to experience with training indoors is a dramatic one, and writing down your plans and goals will help you come out on top when winter is over. Sit down and think your strategy over: what are you hoping to achieve during winter? Make a long-term plan that you will stick to during the cold months and do not worry about your shape and performance once spring comes back around. Just make sure to be realistic about the amount of time you are going to invest in training, and do not overwork yourself.
They check their indoor equipment
You need to make your setup as comfortable and easy to use as possible. First of all, you need a kinetic machine that you will attach to your rear wheel, which will allow it to spin in place while you are riding. However, this is only half of the problem you need to solve for riding indoors; the other one is cooling. When you are riding outside, you are naturally cooled by the air that rushes past your body as you ride. Indoors, the situation can get a bit more difficult. This is why you should definitely consider investing in a fan that will be directed at you during your indoor riding; it will help you keep your body temperature down and prevent overheating. Play some soothing music in the background, or if you have a large TV set, you can even play some nature landscapes to make your ride more realistic.
They’re careful about what exercises to perform
Outdoor cycling is responsible for your mileage, i.e. quantity. It is practically impossible to emulate this indoors, which is why you should strategize and choose those exercises that are most suited for indoor training. Such exercises include everything that is high in intensity, or that targets a specific part of your riding, be it performance or a specific muscle group. Your winter training gives you the opportunity to work on those segments.
They know when to start training indoors
Sometimes, it is difficult to estimate when the outdoor training should stop, but if you want to avoid catching a cold, a rule of thumb is to move indoors when you need to purchase more equipment to keep you warm. If you need a new and expensive piece of clothing to help you function during your rides, that is a good sign that you should move your bike inside and change your training for the next few months.