Heading off on an Adventure this Winter? What’s Your (Training) Plan?

If you’re planning a winter hiking or biking adventure, make sure training for it is part of your plan.

There’s nothing more refreshing than escaping the throws of winter with a warm and sunny hike or bike adventure. It’s wonderful to swap parka and boots for a t-shirt and sneakers and soak up the sun. The only downside to this grand idea is that it can be challenging to adhere to a training plan that’ll get you fit enough to really enjoy a winter or early spring adventure. So that’s what this post is about.

It dawned on me this morning that I have a bike trip planned for the end of March, and I will have WAY more fun if I am actually in shape for it. The problem is, I live in Colorado, and it’s ski season here, not bike season. While plenty of people are year-round bikers, I’m not one of them.

Maybe it’s because I live on a hill and all my rides start with a big downhill that’s downright chilly. Or maybe I just can’t get excited about going for a long ride on a cold day. Whatever the reason, I tend to hang up my bike when the temps drop and hike during the week, ski on the weekends. It’s not a bad thing. But it’s not going to get me in shape for my trip.

So, today I started thinking about what I need to do to comfortably ride 30 or 40 miles a day in March. With the help of Google, I came up with a few solid ideas that should prove useful for my pre-season cycling adventure. I’ll take the next few weeks contemplate my options and then set some solid goals for the New Year.

Hopefully, my research will help you start planning for your winter or spring adventure…and what you can do to get the most out of it.

Here are the five strategies I’ll work with:

  1. Ride indoors. Most rec centers have spinning classes, and though I prefer to exercise outdoors, I can’t think of a better way to train for a biking trip than to bike. Of course, I could put my bike on a trainer and spin at home, but I think I need the accountability of attending a class.
  2. “Man up” and ride outdoors! Sunny and 40 can be pretty nice, so I will just have to change my mindset and embrace winter on my bike I can at least use it for casual riding, like running errands. Bonus: it’ll give me an excuse to spruce up my winter riding wardrobe!
  3. Cross Train. Keep up my cardio routine with regular hiking, xc skiing and snowshoeing. This should be easy for me as I am somewhat of a cardio junkie.
  4. Add some yoga to my workout schedule. This should help with injury prevention and the breath-work will improve my stamina.
  5. Integrate strength training into my workout regime. I can do this at the gym, but will more than likely find some strength training workouts online and use the weights I have at home.

March will be here before I know it, and I will not let my long-anticipated vacation be a suffer-fest. Thus, my New Year’s resolutions will no-doubt include some of the specific strategies noted above and I’ll probably write up a training schedule as well – or at least jot down my workouts on a calendar so I can see that I am putting in the effort.

Now I’ve got my plan in place. How about you? We’d love to hear how you plan to train for your winter adventure. Please share your ideas here – on our Facebook page.