Bye bye cycling rest period, hello trainer in the basement! (Sam’s winter plan 2015-16)

Between the start of the dark nights (And darkness falls…) and the start of indoor cycling, for the past few weeks I’ve been enjoying a bit of time off the bike.

Yes, I’m still commuting but I’m not getting any long rides in.

Just a few years ago, my fitness would come to a screeching halt in October and I’d try to pick it back up again in January. Since we started this blog and ramping up our fitness efforts coming up to our 50th birthdays, the autumn slump hasn’t been so dramatic.

Since I started working with a cycling coach I’ve been riding on a trainer through the late fall and early winter. But still there’s a bit of gap, a transition between outdoor riding and indoor training, For the serious cyclists , it’s even got a name.

“Racing cyclists call this end of season break from cycling the ‘transition period’, as its name suggests, you ‘transition’ from one season to the next, and this rest is usually taken in October.”


Good to know. It ends, for me, tomorrow. Starting Thursday, I’ve got regular Tues and Thurs indoor trainer classes. I’m still going to try to get one more long ride in on the weekends.

It’s either that or more time on the trainer and Netflix.

 A few people have asked for details about what my cold weather training looks like and while I’ve written about your winter non-cycling options before, Seven winter cycling options here’s my plan for the year. Thanks Coach Chris for the details of the plan.

I’m going to keep bike commuting as long as possible. For me that’s usually until Christmas, getting back on the bike in March. And I’m getting ready for that now. See Winter riding: Are you ready? 

Winter ends officially after March training camp in South Carolina. After that it’s outdoor riding again, whatever the weather.

Late fall for me also means a return to strength training. I’m anxious to get back to the weight room. I feel like I have a cyclist’s upperbody right now, which is to say, not much muscle!

Here’s my rough plan:


CrossFit or weights at the university gym


Indoor Trainer Class 90 min


AM CrossFit or weights at the university gym

PM Aikido


Indoor Trainer Class 90 min

Friday Run 5 km

Saturday: Aikido and  indoor cycling on the trainer or cross country skiing or outdoor ride (weather depending)

Sunday: Run 5 km

Some notes: This is a rough outline. I haven’t scheduled a day off because life happens and I’ll inevitably end up taking one. Tracy is a fan of planning and doing less. My realism takes the form of planning lots of workouts and not feeling bad missing some. I’ve only got a few CrossFit classes left on my card and I’m considering switching to the university gym once they’re done. We’ll see. I might sneak into Aikido after the indoor cycling Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s tiring but in the past I’ve liked it. See here.

On the weekends, I’m being completely flexible about my long cardio effort. Yes, I’ve got the trainer but I’d much rather be outdoor cross country skiing instead. I might even just keep my skis in the car so I can get out when the snow is good. I’m running with and without the dog these days and I’m flexible about that too, There’s also winter hikes and snow shoeing. I need outdoor time and winter sun on the weekends.

I’d love a bike I could ride in the snow. See above. That’s on my wish list!

Oh, and also hot yoga when I’ve had enough of the cold and I can feel all my muscles tightening up.

That’s the plan.

Snowy Trees

4 thoughts on “Bye bye cycling rest period, hello trainer in the basement! (Sam’s winter plan 2015-16)

  1. I am a planner but I have a terrible time planning a day off. So my approach is usually similar to yours in that I know it will happen at some point in the week. But this year I’m experimenting with planning for Thursdays, the day between my weight workouts. We will see.

  2. I’m actually jealous…. firstly of all the snow as all we get here in London, UK, is freezing cold rain and occasional dirty sludge. And secondly because I would love to have a trainer to get my rides in but there is literally no room in my flat. It could go long-ways in my living room, but then nobody could (1) see the TV or (2) get to the kitchen. Or it could go in the kitchen but then nobody could use the kitchen!! Are spin bikes anywhere near the same thing? It is one of my motivations in saving up to eventually at some point buy a bigger house – so I have room for a bike trainer!

  3. Excellent article. I always wonder what people do in the winter time when there is too cold, too much snow or rain which prevents you from going outside and riding your bicycle.

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