It’s not uncommon that bad weather makes serious outdoor training impossible. You know that cancelling is not an option if you want to achieve really good results, but it makes good sense to look for alternatives in extreme weather situations.
Since you can’t change the weather (I guess that’s quite beyond this blog post…), you should act proactively to make an alternative training strategy for extreme weather situations. I fully understand that you prefer to follow your training plan, but there is no reason not to spend a few minutes to consider if there is a reasonable alternative.
How to replace your planned training session with a high quality alternative
1. Hometrainer or ergometer bike (watch a cycling training video)
Following a quick warm-up, you should begin your interval training. Very few riders enjoy riding indoor bikes for longer than 90 minutes, so prioritize interval training and get it done. Pushing solid aerobic intervals like repeated bouts of 4 to 6minutes (repeat 4 to 6 times) would be a decent workout. Turn up your favorite music or get inspired watching a cycling training video (e.g. A Very Dark Place from TheSufferfest is a great booster for VO2 max (5 x (4+3min) intervals joining Gilbert, Hushovd, Cancellara etc. Watch teaser below. Order your copy here.)
Spinning is a great alternative or supplement to your regular training. It’s impossible to compare 1hr spinning with 1hr road cycling. There are many external factors that will influence on your perceived exhaustion (temperature, humidity, music, instructor etc.) It’s not unlikely that your subjective experience is different from what a power meter would tell you.
Remember that most cycling races are not organized in structured intervals. Most cycling races are extremely unpredictable so you will need a wide repertoire of skills to master them. So don’t be afraid to ride a spinning class where you don’t know the intervals beforehand.
Nevertheless, if you do your best to keep the intensity high and enjoy the training session, chances for a good workout is better. Also, it is worth noting that spinning classes can be an excellent place to train pedaling rate like you would in the Alps.
3. Take a day off (Evaluate and edit your training program)
Sometimes it is better to skip a training session and benefit from extra recovery instead of struggling to complete a painful ride in the rain. Instead, you should be proactive and spend some time to adjust your current training program. Yes, it takes time to make it fit perfectly.
And if you haven’t started on a training program in 2014 it’s never too late. Grab a winter training program here.
Question to you (please leave a comment):
What is your best advice when it’s raining outside?