Training Tips: 5 Best Sportive Training Ideas For Icy Days

With icy conditions forecast over the weekend, stay safe by maxing out indoor training sessions. Here’s our top tips to train for a Struggle sportive on an icy day.  

Malham Cove on Struggle Dales Yorkshire Sportive

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

Zwift offers the opportunity to explore the training sessions of the pros. Delve into the pro teams latest 2023 winter training camp sessions.

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. 

Try our Struggle-specific Zwift Training Sessions >>

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. 

Try our Cadence Drills session >>

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.

Code Yellow is a documentary on Jumbo-Visma during the 2020 Tour de France, while you can also watch their Vuelta Victory. We also love watching Laclan Morton's exploits via the EF Education channel. 

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

Top Tips:

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.

Read our top tips for Turbo Comfort

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.  

Need Motivation?

Sign up to a Struggle sportive today to set your goals and keep you motivated throughout winter. Check out our Struggle sportives >>

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