How Do I Train Over Winter?


I’ve had a lot of people ask me about training over the winter, so today’s post comes right out of the old mailbag.

It’s that time of year where many cyclists are forced off the road and driven to their basements to put in time on the trainer.  Have you seen some of the trainer sanctuaries out there?  You can tell in these photos that indoor riding becomes something like a Zen state of mind inside of these temples of solitude.

I’m sure you’re like me (and most cyclists), in that you’d much rather be out on the road.  Heck, being out there is one of the things that makes cycling so awesome.  But, if you’re going to have to spend months indoors riding on a trainer and wishing you were out on the road, you might as well do it in style.

The Trainer

There are several models and varieties out there, but from the comments and reviews that I’ve seen I would recommend one of two trainers made by Kurt Kinetic.  A more reasonably priced option is the Road Machine, and if you really want something that resembles outdoor riding then go with the pricier Rock and Roll model.  There is also a new type of trainer that just came out this year…..It’s made by LeMond and it’s called the Revolution.  I haven’t checked this one out too closely, but I’m thinking that it might be a superior design to the original roller type trainers.  If you’ve tried it out, let us know what you think.

The Sufferfest

If you’re lucky enough to have a TV mounted in front of your trainer (actually, I highly recommend having one in front of you), then you’re able to help ease the boredom that can come from indoor cycling.  A lot of cyclists will watch old footage of the Giro, Tour de France, or any other cycling race to help motivate them through their spin.  Others will catch up on their favorite TV shows to help pass the time.  Both are great options.

The Sufferfest: Downloadable cycling workout videos.

If you’re looking for something to really set you on fire and use that indoor training time to your advantage for the upcoming season….then what you need is The Sufferfest: Downloadable Cycling Workout Videos.  I reviewed their products before, so I won’t say too much about them this time around.  If you’d like our review of The Sufferfest, then check out this post.  What I can tell you is that their videos will totally kick your butt (in a good way).  They are also very entertaining, and you don’t have to wait for them to arrive in the mail because they are downloadable right to your own computer.

The Sufferfest is also unleashing it’s latest training video today….The Hunted.  I won’t lie, this blog post was put out today in honor of the new video download.  David from The Sufferfest is a great guy, doing great things and I’m happy to promote him and his products.  They really are worth a try…at $10.99 each you can’t lose.  If you’re interested, you can download the videos here.

Okay, your turn.  Let’s hear about your indoor cycling sanctuary or recommendations on how to make the most out of your indoor training time.  Please help out your fellow cyclists with your comments.

Enjoy Your Ride

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17 Responses to “ How Do I Train Over Winter? ”

  1. Kristine Serna on May 26, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I just love the feeling of being alone and doing some exercises without the hassles of being with someone I am not comfortable to be with.

  2. Aaron on November 16, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Living in the south, I’m able to ride through most of the year, but my mileage still drops in the wintertime. Usually I’ll dedicate the colder days to weights or running, then do long rides on good days. I find that if I do it right, not only do I not lose much fitness, but I come out stronger in the spring.

  3. Clive Chapman on November 16, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Ok, we don’t have “bad” winters in the UK, not compared to say Canada or some parts of the States, but last year’s winter here was the worst in a generation. We had proper snow and everything!

    But I pedalled through it and will do so again this winter. You need just 2 things to achieve this:

    1. The correct kit.
    2. The correct attitude.

    There are benefits to pedalling through the winter. I like the immense statisfaction of not letting weather beat me, plus to quote the often used cycle cliche, “Miles in the winter = smiles in the summer” Naff I know, but true non the less.

    Added to that, you get a complete look of awe from your non cycling work mates as you rock up at work in a howling gale and torrential rain or a snow fall.

    It also makes you appreciate the good weather better too, no masses of layers to put on or a mud caked bike to deal with either.

    Roll on the Summer, but appreciate the Winter too. As long as you’re on a bike who cares?

    • Jonathan on November 19, 2010 at 8:42 am

      Hey Clive,

      Where in the UK are you riding? I’m down in the south in Oxford and getting my first taste of “winter” riding there.

      Being Canadian it doesn’t compare to minus 40, so I’ll take temps above zero any day! I like your “naff” mantra, man…that’s pretty solid.

      Wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying the ride!

  4. Loving the Bike on November 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I’m so impressed by all of you cyclists who don’t give in to winter, and keep on riding even in the extremes. You really are incredible….all of you.

    Thanks for posting your stories of love for the bike and all your inspiration.


  5. Cassi on November 15, 2010 at 8:10 pm
    • Loving the Bike on November 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm

      You’ve got to be the coolest cyclists I’ve ever met.

  6. egggman on November 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I really don’t ride indoors in the winter. Yeah, I said it… I don’t have a trainer. I have never been on a spin bike. When the roads and sidewalks allow I ride on lunch on my winter bike. When it is a little less plausible I run. When the snow and ice conditions get just too damn terrible I climb the 11 story hospital staircase – 8x on lunch + 4x through the day. Bad cyclist no donut….

    • Loving the Bike on November 15, 2010 at 8:50 pm

      You are one of those guys that you just look at and know that they are an athlete. A true Canadian athlete.

  7. Josh on November 15, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Seriously, though, the best winter training is winter riding. Short rides are harder in the cold, and you can up the training value by switching from the bike you wouldn’t dare expose to road salt to a heavier, less efficient beater of some sort. I’ve lately started doing my four-mile commute to work on this – – and it has turned an easy jaunt into a rigorous cardio regimen.

    • Loving the Bike on November 15, 2010 at 11:38 am

      I love the bike….nice. Yeah, I’m sure it’s a lot of work pedaling that thing, but man it sure must be fun. Thanks for sharing your comments….and picture.

  8. bikerly on November 15, 2010 at 6:13 am

    I’m excited for it, Winter this is. I’m lucky to have a Lemond Spin bike in the basement and Red, my faithful fat tired 29er waiting for more snow. The spin bike was a little pricey but I’ve had it a few years now and I’d say well worth the investment. Never tried the Sufferfest but think I must.

    The Winter season is a good change of pace. With dumbbells stashed away in the ‘temple of solitude’ it’s great to get in some circuit work, too. And when the weather clears makes it all the more sweet. Embracing it!

  9. Tim on November 15, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Well since we really don’t experience winter here in Texas, I just train. 😉

    Long, slow rides and gym work.

    • Torsten on November 15, 2010 at 6:11 am

      Yeah, I think he’s going to have to suck it up and get out on the road 😉

      • Loving the Bike on November 15, 2010 at 7:05 am

        You know that this is the number one reason I’m in Texas, right? So I don’t have to move it indoors.

        Unfortunately, there are a lot of cyclists who don’t have the option and are forced indoors for way too long. I hope this helps them find a way to make indoors as good as possible.

        We need to get Tim out with us next time we ride together, Torsten.

        • Weiland on November 15, 2010 at 7:26 am

          What I find surprising is the number of riders who won’t ride when it’s below 60 degrees here in Austin. Shoot they don’t even let the kids out for recess when it’s below 50 degrees. I’ve said it before but my riding range is -20F to 110F.

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