Saturday, 31 October 2015

Training Plans for the Winter

Time to draw up a winter training plan!
Don't forget to take a break at some point in the year, just to give things a chance to heal up, and for your mind to think about something else for a bit.
For me, the "break" is going to be from the last week of November, right up until Christmas. We will be VERY busy at work during that time, so it makes sense to choose those four or so weeks.
Of course, I'll still be commuting my 20-odd miles (32km) a week to work, and still walking my 25-odd miles (40km) AT work. But not running or cycling apart from that.
For the earlier part of November, I'll be continuing my running with Anna - just 6 to 12 miles (10 to 20km) a week to keep things "ticking over". Maybe get in the odd " interval " session on the bike - nothing too serious.
"Proper" training will resume in January, with a January 1st "no excuses" ride. I'll be continuing the running, too. I find the extra fitness from running really helps with not getting too out of breath on the hills.
Then it is a case of deciding what events and challenges I want to tackle, and working back from there.
My "A" event (the most important!) is a local "charity" sportive - the 100km Tour de Vale. I rode it in 5 hrs 22 mins last year, and this year I will be looking to break the 5 hour mark.
Last year, my first 100km (62 mile) ride was a practice of the course, and my second was the event itself.
This year, I want a few more "centuries" under my belt first!
The event is at the end of June, so I will rest for the two weeks before that, then put in a "super compensation" week, doing as many miles (and hard ones at that) as I can for the week before that. So that's June filled up. I guess I want a century in the middle of May, and another at the end, with a ride of about 60km ( with hill repeats) between them. I did this last year, but in June, and it worked really well for the event after the local one (but no later event this year, so I will move that part of the training forwards to May).
Couple of centuries in April.
That means I need to be riding at least a couple of 60km rides in March, with a couple of 50km rides in February.
And what if it snows?
Well, as I demonstrated last year, I can actually ride a 50km with snow tyres with no real problems.
I was hoping to squeeze in a fairly local 10km running event, too, but it looks like it will be on the same day as the Tour de Vale, so that looks like a non-starter.
After the Tour de Vale, I will have a rest week, the I'll be picking up the distance for another long-distance ride in the Summer.
I'll probably aim to just push up the distance a bit - say, to 250 or 300 km. Nothing definite - I'll see how the training goes before getting too fixated. I will probably have a go at Audax UK's badge for a 50, 100, 150, and 200km ride, all in the same season.
As I said above, the Tour de Vale is my "A" event, and that is what my training will be geared towards. Anything else will be a bonus :-)

So that's me.
What are you planning?

Update, 1st November 2015:
New training exercise for the Winter.
Lots of wet days in the winter, so I thought I'd share an exercise I've started doing recently.
Climbing stairs.
Lots of times.

Just knocked out 25 reps of a set of domestic stairs (about 3 metres/10 feet of climb per rep) in just under 6 minutes.
Got to be good for cycling, and as you are lifting your entire weight, it is rather reminiscent of cycling standing up.
Use the stairs in your house, in your office, anywhere.
Raining outside?
Who cares.
Indoor training that is quick and convenient (and if you can do more than about 25 reps of a flight of stairs without noticing it, then you are pretty fit!)

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