January and February is a great time in a racers life. Usually you’ve had your fun in the fall doing other things than slaving away on the bike and now it’s time to get back on the bike in a more serious manner. Most cyclists can’t wait to get back to thrashing the bike and themselves back into race shape.
The key is to bring on the new year with a sense for moderation. Easing into the longer miles and the harder training can be critical. Especially as you get older, i.e. the knee joint is not keen on pushing 5000 ft. climbing days in cold weather right off the bat. Since I don’t recommend taking total time off or even eliminating any hard training in the fall and early winter, there is a bit of an easier transition for the folks I work with as they come into the prep for the new year race season. However, it is still critical to keep from overdoing it and ending up with injury, burn out or over training by the time April comes around.
This is also a great time to hone in on some weakness areas before the season gets going. If you’ve done your homework, there are specific areas of improvement that can be addressed without the concerns of sacrificing performance in the next race.
Of course, the biggest hurdle is weather. If you end up indoors, there are options to consider to make it more hospitable.
- Don’t do it. Get out and run, cross country ski, hit the pool for laps.
- Do it because you should. You simply have to have some time on the bike to be prepared, so get on the trainer. Just break it up. Maybe split the workout between indoors and outdoors. Maybe run and bike to limit trainer time.
- Suffer! Get on the trainer and use the many tools available to keep you going – movies, Computrainer, Zwift, Sufferfest
- Become a Spinner – Spinning classes bring on the vision of out of shape folks riding to Zoomba music, however many of the classes are now catering to racers and have excellent technology. As with anything fitness related, when there is a group and you’ve paid for it – You will go. So it is a good way to stay motivated.
Good luck and Happy New Year!