Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: peterharris on November 26, 2010, 08:49:05 am

 
Title: "Off-season" training
Post by: peterharris on November 26, 2010, 08:49:05 am
As much as the weather will permit (I live in the D.C. area) I plan on riding through the winter. However, there will be those times when it's too cold, rainy, snowy, icy, whatever, and I just won't want to go out. I just bought a trainer and it came with a racing-oriented training video. That's a nice bonus, I suppose, for someone who wants to race but it's not what I think I want to use. But I also don't want to be staring at the blank basement wall for 30 minutes to an hour while I get a good indoor "ride." Using this trainer in the upstairs where the TV is located is a non-starter with my wife so I may have to buy a second TV or use a spare laptop I have lying around (not ideal but it may have to do for a while). And I have an iPod for music but that sometimes gets old.

Have any of you used training videos you would recommend - more oriented to just helping me stay bicycle-fit during the "off-season"? I run and kayak year-around but I want to stay on my bike as much as possible, too.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: waynemyer on November 26, 2010, 11:40:28 am
I use a trainer in the living room and fortunately my SO is understanding of this; she keeps her huge rowing machine right next to my trainer.  We watch TV shows on Netflix while working out.

As far as videos, I have Spinervals Hard 100 to keep me on track.  It's around five hours long and a good century training DVD.  I run it on my laptop (set just right in my handlebar bag) without sound so that I can keep track of the intervals.  When I am doing shorter intervals, I just watch an episode of something and use a computer with HRM and cadence to manage my intervals.

I only started using my trainer about three weeks ago and already my performance has noticeably increased on my commutes to work (36 miles each way).  I had reached the point where I felt that my performance was just not going to get any better without some focused training and the trainer has really allowed me to have controlled, repeatable training efforts.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: Shane on November 26, 2010, 04:44:37 pm
Apart from too snowy/icy, why wouldn't you just go riding?

There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear..........to coin a classic phrase....
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: peterharris on November 26, 2010, 10:31:52 pm
Shane ... good point! What I worry about is weather as bad as we had it last year with two feet of snow that stayed around for weeks. I live "in the DC area" but more specifically, I live in the outer fringes of the suburbs where the roads aren't as well taken care of as they are closer in to the city - and those city roads weren't taken care of very well anyway! And our roads out here have no shoulders and we have no bike paths so I have to share the roads with the traffic. Normally not bad unless I'm on a back road where it has been plowed to only about a lane-and-a-half wide ...

Besides ... haven't you ever looked out the window when it's 35 degrees and drizzly and just said "nah ... no riding today"?
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: Shane on November 27, 2010, 05:23:11 pm
I think 2 feet of snow qualifies as bad weather:) we usually only get a couple of inches, and the cycle paths usually get cleared, its good to live in Holland:)

I get around the "nah...its too wet and miserable" effect by forcing myself to commute to work twice a week, all weather, its a round trip of 30miles, which is a good basic level to maintain, anything on top of that is a bonus.

I tried indoor cycling a couple of times and didn''t like it much, the best distraction I found whilst cycling indoors was to watch some of my classic films on VHS :) .

Have fun....
Shane
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: Tandem4Rider on November 29, 2010, 07:41:17 am
It sounds like you live in northern Virginia...  your description fits some parts of this side of the Potomac, but we do have much better shoulders to ride on, etc...

Have you tried just listening to music?  I've never used a video for my trainer time, and don't plan to.  Toss in some good tunes and you can easily have an hour slip by without really noticing it.  Well, it works for me anyway.  Best wishes.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: staehpj1 on November 29, 2010, 08:34:37 am
One answer is some kind of cross training.

What I worry about is weather as bad as we had it last year with two feet of snow that stayed around for weeks. I live "in the DC area" but more specifically, I live in the outer fringes of the suburbs where the roads aren't as well taken care of as they are closer in to the city - and those city roads weren't taken care of very well anyway! And our roads out here have no shoulders and we have no bike paths so I have to share the roads with the traffic. Normally not bad unless I'm on a back road where it has been plowed to only about a lane-and-a-half wide ...

Yeah, but that certainly isn't typical of the area.  Odds of having another year like last year any time soon are pretty slim.

That said I usually just trail run rather than ride most of the time when not on tour.  Possible options for when there is 2+ feet of snow on the ground are XC skiing, running in the tire tracks on back roads, and snow shoeing.  Last year we got 50" in the same week and I didn't miss a run, but did have to run on roads rather than trails some of the time.  This year I plan to snow shoe if we get large amounts of snow.

Besides ... haven't you ever looked out the window when it's 35 degrees and drizzly and just said "nah ... no riding today"?

Yes, but that is great trail running weather, so I just go for a run.

When I have (very rarely these days) used some kind of indoor trainer (usually rollers or a rowing machine) I just put on a movie or caught up on some taped or DVR'ed TV.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: litespeed on November 29, 2010, 08:47:02 am
"Off season" training? Not a problem. Move to Florida as I did 35 years ago.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: staehpj1 on November 29, 2010, 09:37:14 am
"Off season" training? Not a problem. Move to Florida as I did 35 years ago.
Wouldn't work for me since I like the cold much better than heat and humidity.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: Tandem4Rider on November 29, 2010, 09:59:52 am
Agreed, heat and humidity is terrible there.  Rode there this past summer and I thought my heart was going to explode.  We have humidity here in the mid-Atlantic, but not like there.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: litespeed on November 29, 2010, 03:51:09 pm
And get this: I have lived here since 1976 without air conditioning - just window bangers in the bedrooms for guests. Right now it's a beautiful, sunny day and 80 degrees outdoors and in my house.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: Awf Hand on November 29, 2010, 04:35:14 pm

This is what I used last year:

Mindy Mylrea: TriCycle [DVD]

She's a mean one.  She made me hurt.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: cheesehawk on November 30, 2010, 12:10:52 am
Great and timely topic. I'm in Wisconsin, and two-foot snow is not unusual. Some find a way to commute regardless, I think that the training value is outweighted by the injury risk on most days from December through February for anyone. That, and booties only keep your toes warm for so long when it drops below 25 degrees.

Last year I hit the pool 1-3 times a week in the winter. I did notice a huge decrease in back and neck problems this year. I started doing a yoga class this September, and I've seen a noticeable improvement with a chronic recurring injury. I suspect that I have a complementary muscle weakness and the strenght and streching benefits of yoga are working me through it.

I appreciate the DVD recommendations greatly. I was also looking at some winter training tips on-line and would appreciate hearing anyone's thoughts. Here's a link: www.cptips.com/wntrtrg.htm Again, seems to be more racing oriented. Anyone have an opinion on spinning classes?
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: paddleboy17 on November 30, 2010, 11:48:18 am
Anyone have an opinion on spinning classes?

My experiences with spinning classes has not been good.  I have yet to go to one taught by a cyclist.  Call me old school, but when I am told to crank on a load and spin at a cadience of 40, I believe that to be foolish and dangerous.  It strikes me as a good way to do soft tissue damage to a knee.

The spinning classes I have gone to have been taught by at best runners and at worst, graduates of some spinning program (but still non riders).  Your experience may vary, but mine have been all bad.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: staehpj1 on November 30, 2010, 11:55:26 am
Anyone have an opinion on spinning classes?

My experiences with spinning classes has not been good.  I have yet to go to one taught by a cyclist.  Call me old school, but when I am told to crank on a load and spin at a cadience of 40, I believe that to be foolish and dangerous.  It strikes me as a good way to do soft tissue damage to a knee.

The spinning classes I have gone to have been taught by at best runners and at worst, graduates of some spinning program (but still non riders).  Your experience may vary, but mine have been all bad.
I've never done a spinning class but do have a few friends who manage to stay in impressively good shape by way of spinning classes.
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: peterharris on December 01, 2010, 11:40:20 am
Thanks, all, for your suggestions and advice.

Moving to Florida IS NOT an option. If I had my druthers, I'd move to New England! I am a native-born Floridian and lived there (in a couple of different places) for a total of 14-15 years. Nice place to visit ... wouldn't want to live there. ;)

An earlier post nailed it - I do live in Northern Virginia (Fauquier). And while last winter was an exception regarding snowfall, you just never know. The Farmer's Almanac, or some such, is forecasting an icier winter this year although without as much snow. Still makes it tough to ride on these mostly rural, two-lane, shoulderless roads sometimes!

Cross-training is an option but I already run and kayak and hike and those take up 4-5 days of each week anyway. I'm running out of days! And I did do some serious snowshoeing last winter but usually we don't get enough snow depth to make that worthwhile unless I drive up to the mountains (which I do pretty often anyway). I think the trick is to figure out how to avoid working and just spend all my time outdoors. Retirement is still some time away ...
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: Tandem4Rider on December 01, 2010, 02:11:59 pm
Wow, considering the global reach of this forum we're practically neighbors!  I'm in Harford County, MD.

Do you ride the W&OD ever?  I rode it a couple times years ago.  Can you link up easily to it?  If my memory serves me correctly that should provide at least 70 miles (round trip) of safer surface for you.  One way or the other - be safe and enjoy.

Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: peterharris on December 01, 2010, 03:01:09 pm
Tandem4Rider:

I used to live in Bel Air - moved away (to Florida, of all places) in 1986 for another job with my company. That was back when Bel Air was still a small town and Rt 24 was a winding 2-lane road!

I ride the W&OD frequently - the closest access point to where I live is Leesburg or Sterling, either about a 45-minute drive. Easy enough to get there even on snowy roads but the W&OD didn't get fully cleared until weeks after the roads were cleared!
Title: Re: "Off-season" training
Post by: johnsondasw on December 04, 2010, 12:33:34 am
As much as the weather will permit (I live in the D.C. area) I plan on riding through the winter. However, there will be those times when it's too cold, rainy, snowy, icy, whatever, and I just won't want to go out.

Right now where I live, there's 2 feet of snow and the temp is 20 degrees.  The roads are covered in ice and snow.  It will be this way some winters for 3-4 months.  So, the past 2 weeks, I've been cross country skiing 5 times, snowshoeing twice, and gone on about 4-5 long walks.  I fit my outdoor activities to the conditions and welcome the cross training.  It's good for the mind and body.  Besides, I really dislike exercise machines indoors.  In a pinch, I'll use one at the local gym for 30 minutes or so.  I even go out xcountry skiing at night with headlamp on occasion.  It's spectacular with a full moon.

No matter how bad the weather is, I can always find a place for a good long walk, usually with some uphill involved to increase the aerobic factor.