Wintertime Training Habits

There are three habits you can implement this winter that will have a dramatic effect on your riding next Spring. They are:

1. Consistency

2. Nutrition (Winning in the Kitchen)

3. Strength & Mobility

We'll even include a 'bonus' tip at the bottom (possibly the best one)

Consistency is the single greatest habit I see in successful athletes.  You don't have to ride as much as you were this past summer but I do encourage you to continue to ride 4-5 days per week.   I like to say "an hour a day keeps the fitness at bay".  In other words 45-60 minutes per day Tuesday > Wednesday > Thursday and then your traditional 1.5 - 2 hour Saturday ride and 1.5 hour Sunday ride.  That's 6.5 hours and will serve as a good platform to build upon as you begin to ramp up the volume from your training plan. 

If you are weight lifting, even better.  Keep that up and use the warm up and cool down from your lifting as quality endurance time.

Failure to stay consistent creates problems with decreasing FTP, weight gain and often time is a good indicator of motivation.  So if you are in that boat - get on the horse (saddle) and ride 5 days a week for 2 weeks and I bet you will get your mojo back quick.  Cycling is more fun when you are fit and remember, we are doing 'this' for fun.  Saturday group rides are around the corner and a sure fire way to make them productive and more fun is to stick with your riding during the holidays and winter.  See bonus tip # 4 for motivation 💪

Winning in the Kitchen aka your food choices make a gigantic difference.  Cut out the junk and replace with high quality carbohydrates, lean protein and lots and lots of green leafy vegetables and you'll be all set. Remember: you are a Ferrari** 🏎  and you want to put high performance octane in your engine.

**as an athlete you are a high performance machine and will thrive on high quality carbohydrates

Listen to our original podcast on nutrition👇  for inspiration, example food choices and see our winning in the kitchen meal plans for a detailed breakfast lunch and dinner plan: 9 recipes that take 10 minutes or less to prepare. 

 Strength and mobility is absolutely imperative for the master athlete and any athlete striving to maximum their potential.  The wintertime is a great time to take on a strength and mobility program because you may do it indoors while the weather outdoors is not so good for riding!

We recommend weight lifting for cycling which includes squats, leg press and leg curls.  But 'strength and mobility' to us is also yoga, Foundations, mobility stretches, activation movements, planks, and the tried and true 'core' work'.  The great thing about strength and mobility is two fold:

#1 you can do it anywhere, anytime which is especially handy during the holidays with travel and winter weather

#2 you may also do strength and mobility work year round (unlike weight lifting) without comprising your on the bike training (and power output). 

If you begin ONE strength and mobility movement this winter, begin with Dr. Eric Goodman's 12-minute Foundation routine.  I can't tell you how may athletes blame a bad sore painful back to the otherwise great race or long ride.  "Do this often - no back pain ever" to quote Dr. Eric Goodman and I attest to for athletes over the past 12 years since I was introduced to Foundations training.   All our training plans and 1x1 coached athletes are instructed to do their Foundations work twice a week at a the minimum, more if their back is bothering them. 

Bonus! This is the motivation I was talking about above: choose a goal to achieve in the next 4 weeks.  That goal can be anything but give yourself a short window and something you can achieve.  "I'm gonna follow the plan for 30 days in a row" or I am going to work on doing yoga twice a week.  Additionally, we have three suggestions:

#1 The Festive 500: ride 500 km's between the 24th and 31st of December**.  That's 62.5 k's or 38.8 miles every day for 8 days in a row.  Its a great way to hit January fit (and having more fun) but motivated for what 2022 can be.

Last year 2021, the challenge and Strava allowed rides on Zwift to count so you have no excuse. Join over 65,000 cyclists all over the world on Strava and make a nice little dent in your winter base miles to finish off the year 

#2 Ride a New Year's Day Century.  Every year we prescribe "New Year's Day Celebratory Rides" for our athletes to get a big one under their belt to kick off the new year right. It also helps set an intention for the year. 

Have fun with your power metrics - 2,022 kiloJoules or 222 TSS.  Start your group text now because Cycling is More Fun with Friends and Friends help with motivation, especially on those long cold training rides. 

#3 Take our 30 day winning in the kitchen challenge: have a vegetable at every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner for 30 days straight.  Take that Whole30 💪

We hope this helps and provides you with some motivation during the holidays to keep your forward training momentum.  Let us know if you have any questions or comments in our private Facebook Group and remember to "Work Hard, Ride Fast, Have Fun and as Always, FtFP" 🚀

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About Frank Overton

Frank founded FasCat Coaching in 2002 and has been a full time cycling coach since 2004. His educational background includes a Masters degree in Physiology from North Carolina State University, pre-med from Hampden-Sydney College. Frank raced at a professional level on the road and mountain bike and currently competes as a "masters" level gravel and cyclocrosser. Professionally Frank comes from medical school spinal cord research and molecular biotechnology. However, to this day it is a dream come true for Frank to be able to help cyclists as a coach.

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