Part 3- Cross training


In the final part of our Winter series survival guide we look at the alternative options if getting onto a bike in not possible. There will be times when training on the bike simply isnít an option such as due to many other factors such as injury, illness or simply lack of time/ light. All three of these are more common in the winter so letís look at what options exist and why they are important in rider development.

Develop your core-

Core stability makes up a regular part of a riders training. A strong core will see a rider become more efficient in how they ride and reduce the number of injuries occurring. The exercises focus on the trunk region of the body reducing lower back pain and will aide rider technique if you notice your body "weavingĒ around on the bike whilst putting in an effort.

Core work is very much an individual programme so we donít offer classes for it. The British Cycling insight webpages provide some basic starting point though itís recommended to see a specialist physio.

Hit the Gym-

Gyms provide a great escape from lonely individual sessions out on the bike whilst still allowing you to do your own thing. Building strength will certainly assist a rider to produce more power and aid in the development of your core and other key muscle groups which can aid in preventing injury. So Weights would be very much encouraged as long as suitably instructed/ supervision is provided. Gymís also offer a number of other endurance based activities such as rowing or cross trainers, all great in keeping your aerobic system trained.

Do something different Ė

Now is the time of year to look at breaking up a season, have some time off the bike and try something else, a different sport will continue to keep you fit and enthuse you back onto the bike, after all the y do say absence makes the heart grow stronger.

Similar and time efficient sports such as Running and Swimming are ideal, you donít need much equipment, you can do them at any time and are extremely accessible, and itís not like having to travel to a velodrome.

You could also use the time to look at other classes such as Yoga and using Foam roller sessions; these are great for developing your flexibility which then in turn improves your balance and core strength so you end up a much better rider.

Improve your skills-

Itís also a good time to work on areas you need to improve on such as cornering. Instead of long rides head to a disused carpark with a few cones or markers such as old bottles and practise taking lineís through corners at different speeds. A twisty circuit which can be altered will really see you developing less than 30ins of cycling. Use the time to learn to bunny hop or wheelie, might sound like itís just messing around but these are both important skills for riders to feel more confident on a bike and have the skills to avoid crashes.

Before you know it the winter will be over and we will all be back out doing what we love so much and getting plenty of time in back out on the bike, Summer is just around the corner.