Cold Winter Days & Your Goals

Loosing sight of your purpose on the bike (or in the pool, or on the running track) can be a bummer in the cold winter months. It’s frosty outside, you are months away from the warm days and your first big races and you are dragging your buns to the workout.

Consider not going

  • Tough to hear and perhaps even tougher to understand, this may be your best course of action. If you aren’t jazzed up about your training it may be that your training focus (the regime described from workouts to periodization) is wrong for this stage of your season.
  • Example: Teresa has a season of triathlons planned, capped off by IronMan Canada. She knows the big leg is the longest segment and so for he is the focus for this year. Be fast on long-distance rides. To prepare for this she is up 3-4 days a week in the morning, sitting on the trainer watching Suffer Fest videos and Netflix for 2-4 hours at a time. She feels that if she doesn’t do the time in the saddle now, it will be too hard to get up to speed come April.
  • Possible Solution: Look at the goal and break it down: “BE FAST ON LONG-DISTANCE RIDES” is not specific enough and is actually more than one goal; (1) BE FAST and (2) OVER THE LONG-DISTANCE.
  • Proposed Workout 1: Work on the 1 hour time trial/functional threshold power for 1 hour, limiting indoor rides to 1.5 hours. Do an initial measurement and then set interim goals through the winter.
  • Proposed Workout 2: Come March and April, get out regularly for longer rides (2 X 2-3 hrs), but at an average 50-65% of your FTP. Add 10-20% of time per week to each ride (err on the conservative side), while keeping effort in check. Continue with workout 1 for another 2 months.
  • Proposed Workout 3: Don’t loose sight of developing power and range of motion.

Get to the root

Understand the elements of your goal races/events and work on every part of them. Not just the long-game, but the short; build strength, put on lean muscle mass; learn a new trick be it bike handling, a new stroke in the pool or a new running cadence.

  • Example: Lance wants to come back to racing after a few years off. He has kept in shape but doing the same old training routine does not seem to be paying off.
  • Proposed Solution: No one wants you back Lance. Go to the UCI and USADA and answer their questions fully and truthfully. Then go away.
  • Meanwhile back at the farm: If you are a road racer, take a look at what it takes to perform well: the ability to read a race, to decide under pressure, to take orders (if you are on a team), ability to race at threshold for 30-60 minutes, to recover after big efforts and ride at the back of the race while staying in the game are all examples of required road racing competencies. Figure out which areas you need to work on and develop them all.


coaching for road racers, triathletes, charity riders and mountain bikers