Exercise during winter

In spite of any New Year’s resolution that you may have on 1 January, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to exercise during winter, especially outdoors. This is particularly a challenge for cyclists, because rain and cold can throw quite a spanner in the works at times when you want to go outside, and before you know it you have not been on your bike for two weeks. How do you deal with training during the winter months? We talked about it with Stefan van Klink, founder of Better Cycling, and came to a few interesting insights and tips.

Going out for a spin on your bike anyway
Naturally, standing still is not an option, but exactly what happens to your body during inactivity depends on your level of training. The better trained you are, the smaller the relapse will be when you take things easy for a while.

In principle, the weather does not need to impact your training ride. Naturally, it is less convenient to schedule a long endurance training session on a day when it is raining cats and dogs, so try to train in dry weather if you can.

Once you are outdoors, you can perform your training sessions as usual. However, winter training sessions are often different because they have a different place in the annual plan. During winter, you are often far away from your training goal, often making intensive training less relevant. You want to look for a programme that offers varied training, but not training in which you have to go to extremes every time. We have included a winter programme in Fondo that may help you.

Extra care
There are a few things that you need to pay extra attention to in the winter months. As far as nutrition is concerned, it is, for example, especially important that you keep drinking. Your body reminds you of this during summer, but it is also important that you drink enough fluids in winter.

In addition, dressing yourself properly is also important of course. Do not switch to shorts too soon in the spring. After all, your muscles function more effectively when they are warm. This means that leg warmers can even improve the training effect.

As far as materials are concerned, it is mainly important that you keep maintaining your bicycle properly. The Fondo app includes a few items of the Shimano Service Center that can help with that.

Alternatives to a wintry bike ride
If you miss the fun in training because of bad weather, for example, then the best advice is to take up another sport during winter. Running or swimming can be good alternatives, for example, because they are a way of limiting your relapse. In addition, it is advisable that you do not take a training break of more than one month during winter, because after that the impact of rest becomes too big to regain your form within the foreseeable future.

If you have the option of training indoors on a bike, then obviously that is the easiest and most used solution. These days, programmes such as Zwift allow you to train just as effectively as you would outdoors, so be sure to check this out if you would rather not go outside in the freezing cold.

Looking for more tips? Click here to read the interview that we had earlier this year with Stefan!

Are you already training with Fondo?
Stefan van Klink is not only the founder of Better Cycling but also active as a talent coach for Fondo, the KNWU training app. With Fondo you train flexibly and purposefully for your next challenge, such as Chasin ‘the Sunset. More information can be found at www.knwufondo.nl.