We’ve finally had a few nice days this winter to really get out and enjoy biking again. Did you take advantage of those days? Did you find out that you’ve lost a bit of fitness over the winter?
Don’t fear! You can still do some things during the rest of the winter to help you get fit for spring biking.
Interval Training – this type of training is great for biking. It gets your heart rate out of the comfort zone and then brings it back down. When mountain biking, this is what your heart feels when pushing up those hills, only to find a fast, flowy downhill to cool back down. If you’ve got an indoor trainer, or you hit the gym, make sure that you find an interval training program and two to three days a week. If you’re not going to the gym, find some winter activities (hello, Nordic skiing) that you can utilize instead.
Endurance Training – while we’d love to think about only needing the interval training, you will also need the endurance to take you through those long epic road or mountain bike rides. Gym people set your mind and body on the endurance path with a trainer bike. Outside peeps, you can still road ride! Or you can do some longer-distance running.
Build Back Up – there are lots of ailments that will present themselves if you try too much too fast. Remember, your fitness level is not at the same place it was before. Start with shorter rides when spring comes along. This will help your joints re-adjust to movement.
Protect Your Knees – part of this advice means that you should follow the rule above (build back up). The other part refers to riding in the cold. You should wear longer layers that keep your knees warm or knee warmers. The cold temps can aggravate tight muscles and aggravate knee pain.
Strength – you might think that you just need to get your leg strength back, but you will also need that upper body strength. If you’re mountain biking technical trails, you might need to pull up to get through. Getting some upper body strength is as easy as adding push-ups to your current workout.
Core Strength – yes, all biking takes a certain amount of core strength to be at your best. Balance when on any bike is crucial, so don’t take this step for granted. Crunches and flutter kicks will get your core back into biking shape!
While these guidelines, when done regularly will get fit for spring biking, nothing beats saddle time! If you’ve got an indoor trainer, rollers, or can bundle up enough to get out on the road, do it. Your body (and butt) will thank you for easing back into the season. As always, if you have any questions, call or stop in! We’d be happy to help with all your cycling questions or concerns.