Winter Training Exercises


If you’re like me, you hate to see the warm weather go. Cold temperatures force us back to the trainers or Indoor Spinning classes from great rides like Moab’s Slick rock, the Alpine Loop, and endurance races like Ranatad, Lotoja, and Salt to Saint. Consequently, this can be a good opportunity to focus on the fundamentals of cycling for both the road bike and the mountain bike. Winter is also the perfect time to rejuvenate your body with a periodization schedule.

At the end of the season I go back to a base building period that involves keeping my heart rate in an aerobic zone. I do this for 2 ½ months then I add strength zone which takes heart rate up about 10%. This is followed by adding in intervals at 92% Heart Rate (HR). This base building has many rewards including fully recovering from the stresses of intense exercise and competition, and gaining a larger cardiovascular base. Many athletes believe that the path to increasing fitness, power, and speed is to keep a high intensity or volume of training without interruption. Although it is easy to feel that any break in this kind of training will result in setback, the truth is that the real gains in fitness and strength come in the rest and regeneration periods between hard workouts or training cycles.

You’ll enjoy these other numerous benefits from aerobic training:
Increased fat metabolism: the body prefers fat for fuel at this rate.
Better performance: improves VO2 max (oxygen use during exercise).
Stronger immune system: increases number of macrophage and T-cells (our fighter cells).
Increased resistance to fatigue: The more effective the heart is as a pump, the better it efficiently provides more oxygen to the body.
Lower risk of heart disease.
Increased general stamina: We build more capillaries thereby creating less work for the heart over time for the same cardiac output.

I suggest finding a good spinning instructor who knows how to train for endurance, strength, and competition. I train my students at the Orem Fitness Center. We have just started our Periodization program so we’ll be more fit; ready to compete and enjoy staying with the pack on group rides and centuries. Come indoors and spend some time training with me until you can get reacquainted with your good friend, the road bike. I have taught Spinning for over 8 years. I do endurance races and triathlons for Fezzari Bicycles. Let’s build a stronger body together. Here is a good aerobic workout that I tried out in my class for you who prefer the trainers.


Objective: increase leg strength in aerobic zone
10 min. warm-up
3 min. small hill climb (elevate HR to 75% or level 5)
2 min. mod. Hill climb ( HR to 80% or level 6)
1 min. heavy hill climb ( maintain HR. focus on relaxation and breathing)
1 min. on flat road. Repeat


Rolling Hills: In the saddle
Add gear every 20 sec. 3 gears ( try and hold same cadence) off 3 gears
Add gear every 15 sec. 4 gears ( know your limits) off 4 gears
Add gear every 10 sec. 5 gears (put your ego aside and slow cadence) off 5 ( I take 30 sec. In between each set to recover)

Add gear every 30 sec. 6 gears ( last gear out of saddle for 15 sec.) off 5
Add gear every 20 sec. 5 gears (last gear out of saddle for 15 sec.) off 4
Add gear every 15 sec. 4 gears (last gear out of saddle for 15 sec.) off 3
Add gear every 10 sec. 3 gears (stay seated) off 3
(take 1-2 min. to recover)


Flat road. Cadence 100 rpm. Add 3 gears without slowing cadence. Hold for 30 sec. Slow down to about 80rpm. Add 3 gears w/o slowing down. Hold for 20 sec.

Slow down to 60 rpm. Add 3 gears w/o slowing down. Hold for 10 sec. Recover 1 min. Repeat.

Finish off with light resistance – hold for 2 min. then add tempo bursts until HR leaves zone (maybe 10-20 sec.) slow down and wait for HR drop.
Repeat. See how many you can do in 5 min.
Cool Down 10 min. Easy pedal.


For information about Orem Fitness Center Spinning classes: visit

Written by: Audra Jeske

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