(Editor’s note: This week’s installment of ‘Dear Pedalheads’ will be the last of the season. We hope you have found the tips from Team Whistler riders helpful. Please send any questions thought up during the offseason to firstname.lastname@example.org for use in a future edition of this feature.)
This week’s question:
Other than my daily dose of skiing, what are some good ways to stay fit for cycling during the offseason? Is it time for me to invest in a spin bike?
Signed, Winter's Coming
Dear Winter's Coming,
Yes, winter is coming — right on the heels of a great weekend of local racing with the RBC GranFondo Whistler and the Four Kings. Don't know if you noticed, but there was a light dusting of the white stuff high up on the peaks this past Monday morning (Sept. 10). Exciting!
So, let’s talk about some good ways to stay cycling-fit over the winter that do not require an investment in a spin bike. Buying a wind trainer, magnetic trainer or rollers costs a lot less and will give you a great workout.
If you are a local, a lot of your ski days are probably just a few hours up there when conditions are good. So, budget some time when you come down to hit the trainer or rollers for an hour.
You should try and mix it up with easy and hard efforts to get the best training out of this hour. Do this three or four times a week — it will make a big difference come springtime.
If you want to crank it up a little more, you can add in some spin classes a couple of times a week on the days you do not ski. There are a number to choose from around town. Cross-country skiing is another good cross-training exercise as well.
Keep the bike handy and go for a quick, one-hour ride outside when we get those sunny, warm days. I think you will be surprised how great it feels, and I know you will stay cycle-fit from doing it.
The next level is a full-on training program complete with gym workouts, cross-training and on-the-bike training with structured workouts, but this is a bigger time commitment that could cut into your ski time. The big thing is doing it. When it is snowy out, it is real easy to talk yourself out of jumping on the bike.
Spring comes around really fast, and with a few hours invested in cycling each week, you will see big dividends come that first Toonie Race or group ride when it is time to thrash your friends.