Winter training advice


For most, training during the winter will consist of the ‘base work’ that will form the foundation for your training and racing for the rest of the season. Winter training lays the foundation for everything that will follow.  If you visualise a triangle, this is the base and the broader the base the higher the tip of the triangle.  As you move up the triangle there will be different phases and the nearer you get to the top, there will be less volume but more intensity.  


Winter training


Most serious racers will continue to train on the road during the winter months, even some dedicated mountain bikers take a rest from the mud this time of the year to get in some good quality road miles. You should aim to keep your rides generally steady on the road and allow one day a week, say on a Sunday club run or a mountain bike ride, where you ride at a higher intensity.  


Even if you are able to get out and train on the road/trails during the week, it is also suggested that you allow for one or two sessions on an indoor trainer, or turbo.  This will give you the opportunity to maintain some higher intensity work.


If you are unable to get outside to train much, you will need to rely on the turbo trainer for more sessions and use weekends or day’s off to get the longer miles in weather permitting.


Either approach is fine, so long as you remember the objectives of this phase of training and stick to the principles of base training in preparation for spring and the coming race season.


Below you will find examples of what a winter training week might look like, whether you can get outside to train or not and there are suggested turbo workouts as well. It is to be expected that you will need to adapt this to fit around your commitments; school, work or children as well as the weather. If it’s snowing or icy then maybe a session on the turbo is a better idea than risking a broken wrist from slipping off the bike.




Winter training plan



If you have already ridden through a number of winters, will be able to train harder during the week than someone who is relatively new to cycling.  The progression over a number of the years will allow you to build on your hours over time and also make your hardier to harsh weather, so come race season a spot of bad weather won’t put you off the task in hand.


As a very general rule of thumb, a competitive cyclist, serious about their training (and who has flexible work arrangements and an understanding partner!), will ride approximately 2000 road miles or 120 hours during the 3 months of winter. About 10 hours of riding a week is what a serious racer needs to put in to maintain a good solid base. (Of course, don’t forget about core training and gym sessions as well, many top riders switch bike time for cross training and get great results too. Staying fit healthy and motivated is a big ask when everyone else seems to have a cold or is taking it easy - Ed)


If you are tired or run down, it’s best not to train, stick to recovery rides or have some rest; take a look at the bigger picture and plan your season instead. The most important thing to remember is to keep it fun - try to enjoy your riding without the pressures of racing this time of the year.



Check out our Turbo Training Workouts here!






*This advice comes to you from Dave Le Grys of Fast Track Coaching.  Dave is a former GB coach, who now works in partnership with Lee Povey, between them they have coached a number of National and World Champions.  They also compete at Masters racing and are multiple British, European and World Masters Champions. 

They specialise in offering high quality track coaching in a welcoming and fun atmosphere, using both video and verbal feedback.  David and Lee will be holding a series of track clinic’s both nationally and worldwide, covering all aspects and disciplines of track cycling including training advice, tactical training and mental preparation.  If you're a novice and want to learn how to ride an indoor track, there is a session on 27-28th March 2010 at Calshot, details at

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