Living in a city where winters are cold and snowy doesn’t mean you can’t get in some excellent triathlon winter bike training.
As a matter fact, experiencing some of your most efficient and productive triathlon bike training is possible without ever taking your bike outside. Besides, when you bike train inside you don’t have to worry about things like dogs, potholes, traffic, or whether or not you brought enough to eat or drink. Your triathlon winter bike training would focus around making use of a wind-trainer in your own home.
Wind-trainers(indoor bicycle stands)are invaluable no matter what climate you live in, but really come to the triathletes rescue in the cold winter months. As a matter of fact there are triathletes in the world who do pretty much all of their bike training indoors simply because the area they live in is not bike friendly. There is nothing stopping you from doing a four-hour endurance ride on your wind-trainer in your own home. Sure it might sound boring, but you have to look at the big picture.
The big picture is that one day you want to cross the Ironman finish line. Being able to bike 112 miles is part of the deal and if putting up with hours on a wind-trainer seems boring just keep reminding yourself that it’s a means to an end that could lead to one of the most outstanding moments of your life one day. It’s no different for people who have to learn how to swim even though the thought of navigating 2.4 miles in the open water with a couple thousand other people terrifies them. It’s part of the deal so they do it and are payed back a thousand times over when they put on their Ironman finisher t-shirt.
Besides, there are several things you can do on a wind-trainer beside distance training. You can also simulate hill training by adjusting the settings on the wind-trainer of using the gears on the bike. Wind-trainers are also excellent for interval training. As a matter of fact you can do more accurate intervals indoors than you can outdoors because you don’t have cross-winds, head-winds, and hills to factor in. For example, a good interval workout might involve warming up by easy spinning for ten minutes and then spin at about 75% effort for 90 seconds with a three minute interval between every 90 second effort. If you start with five of these and then follow up with a ten minute cool-down, your total workout is under 45 minutes.
Depending on your biking ability you can increase the degree of difficulty in four ways. Increase the length of time for the repeat(maybe two minutes instead of 90 seconds), increase the effort upward from 75% to perhaps 80%, increase the amount of repeats you do, or decrease the interval time between the repeats. Ideally you would increase the degree of difficulty as you become fitter over time. You might decide to work yourself up to ten repeats at 80% effort with just a two minute interval between repeats. The beauty of Triathlon winter bike training indoors is that you can figure out a program that is perfect for your level of ability.
Perhaps a benefit of indoor bike training is the ability to work on your bike to run transition. This is just an excellent training option for anyone who is short of time and are perhaps constantly struggling to squeeze in their triathlon training. All it takes is a 30-40 minute bike followed by a about a 30 minute run to gain some benefit when it comes to preparing yourself for what the bike to run transition will be like on race day. The trick is to get off your bike and into your running shoes and out the door for your run with as little delay(as short a transition time)as possible.
With this particular workout you can bike, run, shower, have breakfast and get ready for work in under two hours. The beauty of this workout is that you can lengthen it out to longer distances any time you like…especially as your conditioning improves. For instance you could do a 45 minute bike and a 45 minute run, or increase the bike and don’t increase the run(or vice versa). Ultimately, when you are in the endurance phase of your Ironman training there is nothing stopping you from biking for 90 minutes and running for an hour right after. This is an excellent method of endurance and transition training all wrapped into one. So whatever you do, don’t feel that you have to lose out on bike training in the cold months because there are always options when it comes to triathlon winter bike training.
Be sure to check out the ironman.com website for these excellent tips on winter training.