Winter Training - Outdoors or In?

Lets be honest, the weather hasn't been great over the last couple of weeks, and up here in Yorkshire we've had endless days of ice and snow making training difficult for even the most accomplished rider so I thought I see what I could do to make sure I still got the training in. Now, I can already hear the screams and shouts of "Get on the turbo!", and although they're a fantastic training aid for bad weather, and can be great for structuring your training, I always prefer to get outside unless it's truly impossible.

So, despite the less than favourable conditions i've still managed 330 miles in the past two weeks, all of which were outside in the depths of winter, and none of it was particularly dangerous, and all of which ended without disaster.

The majority of my training has taken place on the main roads around Yorkshire where the gritting wagons have made sure the roads are ice free. Training on the main roads might not be very exciting, but it's certainly a safe option, but with extra caution to avoid the sides of the road. I'd recommend trying to ride with people on these rides, to stave off the boredom and also incase of an accident or mishap. Having someone to help with that puncture on a frosty day could be a life saver! Most of my training is with my club, AlbaRosa CC.


Another great option, which won't work for everyone, is to get out on the mountain bike, or the cyclocross bike and tackle some of the rough stuff. It's safer than sliding around on black ice and generally great fun away from the road. The other great thing about any form of off-road riding is that it's still a solid workout and can feel more draining than riding on the road. This weekend past was the perfect opportunity for such a ride; with a thick covering of snow and even the main roads too icy, I hit the local trails for some cyclocross fun, mixing in some hard training with a bit of fun!


That's just personal preference of course and the turbo is great for those that can't get outdoors! My other half is big fan of The Sufferfest videos which provide some rather immense pain, misery and agony whilst giving you a well structured session guaranteed to leave you feeling great.