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winter training

Don’t want to drag the back of the spring cycling pack? Keep your edge this winter with these pro-approved training routines.

Excerpt from Men’s

By Nick Davidson

If you’re wintering where the roads are icy and the cold air oppresses your lungs, you likely haven’t been outside on the bike in a while. But that’s no excuse to lose your edge or your strength before spring comes. Sure, you’ve earned a healthy dose of hibernation—and true, rest from any sport can be a good thing—but next season is always closer than you think. This year, you might as well ride out in front of the pack.

“The best way is to go to the warmth,” says two-time Giro d’Italia champ Ivan Basso. But for those of us who can’t afford to follow the sun, Basso says you can cross train with a mix of strength training and indoor cycling. A good routine in both departments will keep you strong and powerful. So make this your three-pronged approach from the pros, and you’ll feel like you haven’t missed so much as a pedal stroke.

You can’t beat riding on pavement for staying in good cycling shape, but when winter roads are slushy and the air delivers a cold bite, your next best bet is an indoor trainer. Try a simple one like the Kinetic Road Machine ($379;, which attaches to your rear hub and spins the wheel in place as you pedal. (You’ll want to lift your front wheel with a phone book to match the lift of the rear wheel.)

From there, just pop in your favorite action flick or Tour de France stage for a one-to-two-hour spin, two to three times per week. Most trainers will automatically adjust resistance as you increase speed, so you’ll want to take advantage of that. Follow the shifts in the intensity of the action or music to simulate natural changes in a typical road ride.

You can increase your speed and power even in the off-season with this intense 30-minute interval session three times a week:

  1. Warm up for 10 minutes, pedaling at a moderate pace
    2. Pedal for 10 seconds at high intensity, as close to your max as possible
    3. Rest for one minute
    4. Pedal for 20 seconds at medium intensity, about 60 percent of your max
    5. Rest one minute
    6. Pedal for 30 seconds at low intensity, about 30 percent of your max
    7. Rest for one minute
    8. Repeat five times

Follow your indoor trainer rides with a 10-minute yoga session that focuses on stretching the hamstrings, quads, and calves.

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