I’ve heard people say that “races are won in the off season”. There’s truth to that. It’s an important time to readjust and invest in next year’s goals. Having the tools and set-up to train efficiently and enjoyably is essential in the winter, especially for those of us who live in the beautiful True North, Strong and Free! A few dumbbells, cross country skis, snowshoes and E-Motion rollers do the trick for me!
Strength and re-conditioning work in the gym pays dividends, and cross training outdoors on skis and snowshoes is an excellent complement to cycling (and a great way to enjoy being outside!). Personally, my most important training hours, especially the hardest ones, are spent on my bike with E-Motion Rollers and a good solid fan!
E-Motion rollers are a special kind of indoor trainer made in the USA. They have a sliding frame on top of a static base, which allows the bike to shift back and forth as it does naturally when you pedal outside. The inventor, Larry Papadopoulos, calls this “Free Motion Technology”. It’s what makes these rollers so easy to get a hang of. If you can ride on the road, you can ride on these. And if you have fun riding on the road, you’ll have fun riding E-Motion rollers.
It’s important to start every workout with a good, stress-free, fun warm up. Planning what your workout will entail effort-wise ahead of time (intensity and duration), and sticking to it through the end is a good idea too. After getting the legs spinning for 15 – 20 minutes, you’ll be ready to “get down to business” and tackle your intervals. The ones I find the most painful, but the most rewarding are maximum efforts. Sprint repeats are also a fun challenge.
E-Motion rollers feature bumper bars that prevent the bike from flying off of the rollers, so you can sprint hard. Tiny wheels that look like they belong on a pair of in-line skates keep the bike from slipping off the side of the front roller. The bumper wheels are especially useful for those max efforts, when you can’t see straight by the end if you’re really doing it right!
The company that makes E-Motion rollers (Inside Ride) is innovating a wireless resistance unit that will work with different smart phone apps to program automatic resistance adjustments, depending on your workout. I like the classic 3-level resistance unit just fine, but I’m eager to try the new technology out.
The most important thing about off-season training is to have fun, push your limits, but don’t forget that the time to peak is not in February, so don’t be too rough on yourself. Regardless of how you choose to train, enjoy your off season, and see you out on the road next spring!