1. Take a Test
It may not be a four-hour ride but we promise you an FTP test (Functional Threshold Power) will leave you lying on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon.
Now is an ideal time to carry out an FTP test; benchmarking your fitness at the start of the year. Your FTP is your sustainable power for one hour. It’s a great way to understand your current fitness level.
Not only can you monitor your training progress; your FTP can help set your training zones and ensure you are riding smart and training at the correct intensities.
Rather than riding as hard as you can for 1 hour, an FTP test only last 20 minutes. We make it sound easy. It isn’t! Calculate your FTP by taking your best average 20-minute power and multiplying it by 95%. Top tip: pace yourself and don’t go too hard to early.
However, our preferred way to calculate FTP is with a Ramp Test. If you don’t fancy a 20-minute effort, a ramp test is quicker and the suffering only kicks in towards the end of the test. Try a Zwift Ramp Test.
2. Explore What's New On Zwift
What’s great about the Zwift is there are multiple Zwift group rides and races each day at different times of the day, so you can fit around work and family commitments. There’s also different rides for different ability levels. Why not try a stage of the 2023 Tour de Zwift that's running until 12th February 2023.
We admit, it’s no competition for the great outdoors but Zwift can make indoor rides much more interesting when real roads are out of bounds.
3. Do Drills
Winter offers the perfect opportunity to improve your skills and technique. Cadence drills are one of our winter faves.
Riding with a faster cadence in a smaller gear can save your legs on long days like a Struggle sportive. If you carry out this cadence drill session once a week, by Struggle Dales sportive you’ll be spinning as efficiently as Chris Froome.
4. What to Watch?
Need some steady-state hours in the saddle? You'll be less reluctant to climb on the turbo if you've prepared a movie or podcast you’re excited about listening to or watching.
We are excitedly anticipating the May release of Cycling's version of Drive to Survive by the same producers Box to Box Films. In the meantime we're getting our sports documentary fix with their latest release Break Point, following tennis stars including Rafa Nadal.
5. Do Strength Training
Ask the purist roadies how to become a better cyclists and they’ll tell you to “ride your bike!” But pick apart the training plans of new kids climbing the pro ranks and you’ll find there’s more power behind podium performances than pure pedalling. Try our Strength Training Plan for Cyclists
Time: 2 hours on the turbo equals three hours on the road. Remember you’re constantly pedalling on the turbo and never free wheeling.
Move: Try to get in and out of the saddle to take the pressure off your sit bones. Don't forget to wear chamois cream for longer sessions.
Stretch: Stretch off your hip flexors after your session with a kneeling lunge stretch.
Fuel: Fuelling before, during and after a turbo session is just as important as road riding. Ensure you have snacks or a gel within easy reach.
Drink: Hydrating is even more important as you’ll be sweating much more while training indoors. Add an electrolyte tablet to your bottle to replace the minerals lost through sweating hard.
Sign up to a Struggle sportive today to set your goals and keep you motivated throughout winter. Check out our Struggle sportives >>