|Author’s Note: This article is part of the Down Under Series focusing on athletes in the Southern Hemisphere (And expats in the Middle East!) who are currently in the winter training months. Athletes can save on our OutSeason® Plans in the EN Plan Store with the code DownUnder20 now until 8/31/2016.
Use code "DownUnder20" to Save 20% On An OutSeason® Plan Thru 8/31/16!
Now that you’re in for winter training mode, how can you make the most of this training time? Online you can see people struggling with five hour power and dehydration in 40° plus degrees. Yet there you are at home, in the basement or Pain Cave striving for quality training despite the conditions.
Just because you are indoors doesn’t mean your training in any less valuable.
In fact, the work you’re doing now is what sets the tone for the rest of the year both physically and mentally. Inside Endurance Nation we consider the OutSeason® to be one of the most important parts of our year. Your focus should reflect that importance if you want to get the most out of your training.
Here are our top three tips how to make the most of your winter training sessions.
Tip Number One – Integrate Data With Your Training
While not everyone has a power meter or a treadmill or a GPS device, almost everyone has a computer and can get access to virtual power.
With your bike on a trainer you can connect to services like TrainerRoad (www.trainerRoad.com) or Swift (www.ZWIFT.com). Both allow you to connect your trainer with a computer and visualize your data. This is a great way to experience what it means to ride with power without forging on the real power meter.
The hard work of the OutSeason® is all about incremental changes – trying to ride to three or four watts harder this week than last week.
If you’re just training with heart rate you’re essentially in the dark. You have to guess whether this week’s session was better than last week’s…or not. You can use a treadmill in the same manner by manipulating the incline and the speed in small increments to continue to challenge yourself.
Tip Number Two – Don’t Forget to Fuel the Workouts!
This is one of the biggest mistakes that triathletes of all levels make when they head into the winter. They put all of their nutrition away just like they hide their sandals and the sunscreen.
It’s only an hour workout they say, struggling to get through the session.
But I’m going to lose weight they say, fasting and not fueling their workouts.
You should treat every single session like a high-quality session.
Imagine it’s a presentation at work. You would show up dressed professionally with everything ready to go and execute accordingly. Your workout is no different – it is your big presentation of the day and you need to nail it.
Poor nutrition in the winter is not immediately obvious. If we were to do a four hour ride together and you don’t have enough food – we’d know by hour two something’s not right.
But you might never notice over the course of a one hour ride or a 45 minute run. Instead, the problems will start to surface slowly over time with reduced gains and potential poor food choices later in the day. Don’t ignore the other half of your training by missing this nutrition piece of the puzzle!
Tip Number Three – It’s About the Recovery
Everyone focuses on what the intervals are. Everyone posts online how fast they are or how far they went. But nobody talks about the complementary part of that work cycle – the rest.
It’s not about how much work you can do, it’s about how much work your body can absorb.
When we are in season and doing no longer workouts we start to creep into other areas of our life. We cut out the sleep and downtime where we would normally recover. This is a sacrifice we can make for a short period of time but after a while starts to hurt.
The high quality intervals of the OutSeason® allow us to achieve a 24-hour window between workouts. During this time you can recover, sleep and prepare for the next session.
One of the biggest secrets of the OutSeason® is that the program itself is not earth shattering – the window for recovery is so great that you can’t help but get faster and stronger.
Early on most athletes don’t want to rest. In fact it’s not usually until week six or seven that athletes are talking about how excited they are for a rest day on Monday or Friday. That’s right, Monday and Friday inside Endurance Nation’s OutSeason® are our designated rest days. Some people will put some workouts on them but generally we recommend that you take them off to recover.
These are just a few of our test to help you be your best this winter. If you have additional insights questions please share them with us here in the comments or hit us up on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/endurancenation. Head over to the digital training plan store to pick up your OutSeason® Training Plan today — use the code DownUnder20 to save 20% on an OutSeason® Plan through August 31st!