Training During the Winter and the Holiday Seasons

Training During the Winter and the Holiday Seasons

Make the most of the winter training

by Patricia Schwager, ALP Cycles Coaching

The winter and the holiday seasons are coming closer. Most of our ALP athletes enjoyed their off season break sometime back in October or November and by not it is time to be back training for next season.

How do we manage to get back into training and build up for the year despite the holiday stress and possible dark, cold, and nasty winter weather? It is time to come up with a plan! That's also why working with a coach year-round is important. A good winter training/build-up is key to perform. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of the training during the winter and holiday seasons:

  • Have a goal: As always, having a goal is more motivating. By now you should have thought about your goals or events for the New Year. If not, think about a goal. It doesn't need to be a race. It can be an event, challenge, or ride.
  • Mix up your training with different activities, especially this time of the year. Some examples include: nordic skiing, weight lifting/strength training, hiking, MTB-ing, cyclo-cross, running, yoga, snow shoeing, skiing, etc. This will also help you to keep balance and stay motivated.
  • Work on skills and weaknesses. Fall and winter time is a great time to work on your skills and weaknesses. There is no stress or pressure of having to perform in the next race or event and that means you can really focus to work on your skills and weaknesses. The more you work on it, the more you will improve. Common weakness we see are lack of leg speed, lack of leg strength, lack of solid bike skills and bike handling.
  • Wear the right gear. Make sure you are wearing the right clothing for the dark, cold, wet winter weather conditions. Having the right gear vs. the wrong gear will make a big difference. We highly recommend the winter bike clothing from Pactimo for men and women!
  • Ride with a group. It is a lot easier to stay motivated if you need up with folks for a ride or other activity. The ride and training go by faster with good company!

If you are in a time crunch with all the holiday activities: think about the holiday season and plan ahead. Let your coach know if you like to have a few days off to spend with family, friends, or for travel etc. Schedule 1-2hrs per day for yourself to get your training done and then spend the rest of the day doing holiday activities. 

Happy training!

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Patricia Schwager began cycling in 1998, racing as a junior. After racing on the domestic level and completing her Diploma as Pastry Chef, she got her first pro contract in 2006. 2015 will be here 10th year of professional racing. Patricia has a lot of experience racing in the European peloton. In 2013 she started working with Shawn Heidgen as her personal coach. In 2014 she changed her focus to racing in the US. Patricia is a 6 time national Swiss champion and has represented her home country, Switzerland, at the World Championships 12 times.