Off Season Training

How Can I Cope With Early Darkness?

I'm in Louisiana. It's not cold here. It doesn't snow. Winter riding should be easy. But the early darkness is killing me. I feel like it’s dangerous to ride when it’s dark. Worse, not riding on weekdays makes me feel sedentary and I can’t get motivated to ride even on weekends. How can I deal with this?

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Tips for Base Training in the Cold

I live in Colorado and it’s already starting to snow. Two of our ski areas opened last week. As I write this a fire in my wood stove is keeping me warm. This is the time of year when I outline my clients' training plans for the year ahead. For the next 4-5 months I plan base training – whether the client lives in Boston, Colorado, Maine or California. Base training has many important benefits. 

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Why Did Winter Intervals Kill My Power?

I purchased a PowerTap power meter last year and have been training inside with watts all winter. This has included 3-4 workouts per week ranging from 90 minutes to 2 hours, mostly hard intervals. My power increased for the first 6 weeks but then plateaued. Recently, it's taking much more effort to generate the same wattage that I easily produced in January. What's going on? 

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Are Hard Winter Rides Counterproductive?

I'm confused about the physical effects of base training at 70-80 percent of maximum heart rate. I've heard that while in this zone our bodies are building capillaries that supply muscles with blood and nutrients for the harder efforts later in the season. Further, we should avoid any hard efforts in winter, such as climbing, that raise heart rate above this zone. Is this true?

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