Training Tips: Winter Off-Season Advice for Sportive Training

Winter is the off-season; time to rest, relax, recover - and indulge - before we press the reboot button and ramp up winter training. However, it’s often difficult to enjoy winter without feeling restless and fidgety. Here’s what we do to optimise winter training for a sportive.  

Wahoo Kickr

1. Set Up Indoors

Today’s technology makes indoor training more efficient, effective - and enjoyable - meaning you can train hard throughout the winter and roll into spring ready to smash the season. Spend time planning and setting up your optimal winter training rig. Check out:

  • Watt Bike - for power-focused indoor training without the need for your bike
  • Wahoo - for the latest technology in indoor trainers on your own bike
  • Tacx (New Flux S) - a long-standing player in indoor training with a new offering
  • Zwift - for virtual reality training. We’re looking forward to their Leeds Zwift Night
  • Trainer Road - for structured sessions
  • Sufferfest - for fun training videos
  • Training Peaks - to track progress 
  • Watch out for the ALL NEW Struggle Coached Rider! More info coming soon 



2. Switch Off

That said, the off-season is the opportunity to ignore your power numbers and speedo stats for a few weeks. Try turning your bike-computer screen to power-save mode and enjoy the ride. Why not: 

  • Ride to a new cycling cafe - we checked out The Clubhouse last weekend
  • Stick the bike on the car and go ride on different roads
  • Tick off climbs still on your bucket list - 100 Climbs books are awesome
  • Try touring - We love our Restrap bags for this


Cold Bath Beer

3. Enjoy Social Season

The Struggle HQ stash of Cold Bath Beers has taken a hit since the off-season began. Ditch the diet and enjoy the things you’ve starved yourself of over the season. Spend some time socialising over a beer instead of worrying about the early morning club meets or staying tea-total until event day. 


Winter Bike

4. Address the Rust

The off-season is soon followed by winter-training - when your trusty winter hack takes a battering. Spend some time checking the state of your old friend and winter-proof your steed for 2018/2019. Things to look out for:

  • Worn chain - we always like to start winter with a new chain and cassette
  • Bare tyres - Continental GP 4 Seasons are our go-to winter tyres
  • Worn bearings - If unsure, book in for a service with your local mechanic 

How to perform a winter bike check >>


OTE Training Camp

5. Plan Your Year

To stay motivated over winter you need to commit to some of your goals for the year. Pick your ‘A’ event! Plan in your ‘B’ events and strategically plot in some fun ‘C’ events. Here’s a recap of our Struggle Events Calendar:


Strength and conditioning for cyclist

6. MOT Yourself

Time to check what needs oiling and tinkering with, so you’re ready to withstand long winter miles. At Struggle HQ, we’ve just had our functional movement checked to address mobility, flexibility, and stability which in turn effects power output, bike fit and injury prevention. We saw Byron Spence who works with VitFor athletes, but specialists are available across the country. Other actions you can take to winter-proof your body are:

  • Join the gym
  • Get a strength and conditioning plan for winter
  • Build a strong core - planking!
  • Engage your glutes - squatting!
  • Foam roll - release those twisted and tight muscles  

Tell us what you like to do to stay focused in the off-season. Comment in the box below.  

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  • I’ve just dusted off the turbo, reconnected to my zwift account and promised myself that I will stretch, squat and plank every day. My challenge is to get fitter and faster for next season and get outside on the nicer winter days.

    • Sarah
  • For me the winter will consist of sorting out my nutrition, gym work and planning for a season of triathlon. Oh, and to force myself to keep cycling outdoors during the cold months, not just on the turbo.

    • MArk