Four Ways to Be Ready for Spring Adventures with Indoor Training This Winter

Be ready for your spring adventures with indoor training that includes setting goals, do strength training and yoga, and mix your endurance training.

Four ways to be ready for spring adventures with indoor training this winter:

  1. Mix up your endurance training. 
  2. Do strength training.
  3. Take yoga classes.
  4. Decide on your adventure goals for the season so you know what you’re working for.

The older I get, the more I like indoor training in the winter, even if I have early spring adventure events.

I train at home on the bike and yoga and/or the gym for treadmill running and strength training.

Even with a long fat-biking race in March along with several gravel races in the spring, I’m less likely to get out for long rides or runs in the cold of Wisconsin winter.

I get chilled and can’t get unfrozen. 

What options do we have to do indoor training throughout the winter so we’re still fast in the spring?

Here are four concrete suggestions for winter training to be ready for your adventures.

  1. Mix up your endurance training. 
  2. Do strength training.
  3. Take yoga classes.
  4. Decide on your adventure goals for the season so you know what you’re working for.

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Training outside puts hair on your chest – but not really

There’s a certain pride and toughness in training outside during the winter. 

At least that’s how I used to feel!

While you may get points from friends and family for being tough enough to run or ride outside, you may give yourself permission to stay inside. 

You can get a just as good or even better and more focused workout inside. 

Indoor workouts can be better quality over quantity. 

So while I used to value the toughness factor of being outside for rides and runs, now I just get cold. 

I’ll get outside on days with warmer weather, dressed as well as I can for the conditions.

Cross-country skate skiing, since I’m using my whole body, still keeps me warm enough to be outside. 

But I no longer do four-hour rides in 20 degree weather!

Your goals define your work with indoor training

If you plan on doing your first century ride in spring and do only spin classes during the winter, you’re going to struggle. 

The same if you plan an early season marathon and only do short runs on the treadmill. 

Plus knowing what you need to work on throughout the winter can help your motivation.

Spend some time writing down what you want to accomplish this year.

Then identify the small tasks you need to do to achieve your goal.

Do you need to improve your hip strength and/or mobility?

Do you need to improve your speed at threshold?

Setting up a long-range plan helps guide your winter training, whether it’s indoor training or outside. 

Try out different options for indoor endurance training 

You have a lot of options in the winter to build your aerobic fitness and to take a break from your usual training. 

Not only will trying something new give your brain a chance to rest, doing something besides running or riding all the time helps you prevent injuries. 

Try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing if you venture outside.

Rowing and swimming are also great options for aerobic fitness with indoor training.

Platforms like Peloton and Zwift offer online workouts that can build your fitness. 

Plus, your gym may offer spin classes that can get your heart rate up!

The key is to structure your training week so that you do one longer endurance workout that can include some moderate tempo intervals.

But do only two, maybe three, really hard interval sessions a week or risk burnout or overtraining.

Long endurance workouts require a little creativity for indoor training

If you are training for a long event in early spring, like a marathon or gravel race, you’ll have to get in some long workouts once a week.

Doing your indoor training on the treadmill or the bike trainer for long periods can be really tedious. 

One way of shortening the work and adding a little variety is doing some moderate interval work within the endurance workout. 

For example, you can do several 10 to 20-minute tempo intervals within your workout. 

If you’re on the bike, you can simply start pedaling faster, and if you’re on a treadmill, you could increase the speed or incline a little. 

This winter is a great time to start indoor strength training 

If there is one thing that runners, cyclists, and swimmers can do to improve so much of their performance is to hit the gym for strength training

Lifting heavy weights two to three times a week is an ideal way to improve your overall strength, endurance, and exercise efficiency. 

The efficiency means you can improve your running stride, your swim stroke, and your pedal cadence with more strength. 

In the off-season and pre-competition months, you can lift heavy weights without hurting your interval training. 

Yoga and mobility are keys to injury prevention and better movement

Runners and cyclists tend to develop tight hips and imbalance injuries.

Yoga that focuses on mobility can help with better movement and even improve your strength while training indoors.

For instance, doing a Warrior 1 pose strengthens the leg and hip of the front leg and opens the hip on the back leg. 

Doing Downward Dogs and Sun Salutations opens your hips and shoulders to increase mobility.

Practice the little things that get away from you 

Use your indoor training time to practice the little things for your training. 

For example, on your long runs or rides, practice fueling and using different energy sources to see how they work at higher intensities.

For cyclists, practice riding at a higher cadence to smooth out your pedal stroke. 

And spend a lot of time writing down notes about your workouts.

How did those particular efforts feel? 

What did you notice about that session?

All these little things matter, and if you can dial in your nutrition and other elements of your training during the winter, you can hit the ground flying in the spring. 

Your motivation may be lacking with indoor training

Here are some ways to keep your motivation from waning during the cold months:

  1. Listen to music or podcasts while you’re riding or running.
  2. Write down everything you do so you can see your progress.
  3. Meet up with a friend to complete your workouts.
  4. Try a specific challenge, like running 100 miles in February or finishing a 100-mile week on the bike trainer. 

Still Curious About What You Can Achieve? 

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