2 Secret Weapons for Winter Training
In the winter months it can be very hard to stay motivated to keep your fitness up. Things usually start out with good intentions of maintaining the fitness that was painstakingly built over the last season. As time moves on the dread of more time on the trainer is enough to keep you off the bike. In the meantime your fitness goes out the window.
There are two secret weapons we’ve found for winter training to keep your motivation up and start the spring season with a head start on everyone else. Ok, so they may not be that secret, but its really been a game changer for our winter training. We are way more motivated to keep riding through the winter.
Secret Weapon #1: Smart Trainers
Smart trainers allow you to turn your indoor training into a game. This has made a huge difference. Smart trainers will connect to a smart phone, tablet or computer and they can adjust the resistance based on a pre-built workout or a virtual course you are riding. Two of our favorite platforms are Zwift and Rouvy.
Zwift has proven to be the most popular smart trainer app. With Zwift you can ride along through virtual roads (while your trainer adjusts the resistance based on the grade) with thousands of other riders, you can join a race, chat with other riders or create a structured workout.
Rouvy is another of our favorite apps. It allows you to ride along with videos from routes all over the world that have been professionally created or that users have uploaded. You can even create your own routes to simulate your favorite outdoor rides.
To get the most out of these apps you will need a smart trainer that will connect with your phone, tablet or computer. We really like the Cycleops trainers. Here are two of our recommendations:
The Cycleops Magnus is a great way to get started with a smart trainer. It provides smooth resistance changes and will give power measurements accurate to within 5%. Best of all it uses bluetooth or ANT+ to connect with your phone, tablet or computer to be able to smoothly change resistance as you ride a virtual course.
The Cycleops Hammer Direct Drive Trainer is one of the best trainers on the market. Direct drive trainers are quieter and provide more realistic resistance than traditional wheel on trainers. The Hammer gives power measurements accurate within 2%. Like the Magnus it also provides bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity.
Secret Weapon #2: Fat Bikes
Why get another bike? Fat bikes help you keep your fitness by helping you ride outside all year long. It’s incredibly satisfying to ride the trails no matter the time of year. Another great plus of riding the trails in the winter is that they are much less crowded. Give fat biking a try and you’ll find a great way to keep racking up the miles outside.
Be sure to check out the King’s Peak Carbon Fat Bike. A carbon fat bike for under $2,000.
Whatever you try, find a way to keep your riding fitness up through the winter. How do you keep your winter training motivation?