The winter is coming, and it means triathletes start preparing for the winter training season. In this article we are going to tell you how to train for triathlon in winter to be in a good shape for spring and show worthy results at your starts.
Winter Triathlon Training
There are hardly any dramatic changes in your swimming workouts. All the training process takes place in the swimming pool.
Swim with a head lift and include orienteering. Make turns without touching the pool edges and perform special exercises for a stronger stroke during your swim.
To train the vestibular apparatus and simulate passing through the first transit zone in triathlon, you can use interval swimming with an exit to the pool edge and doing statnamic squats.
Basic cycling training in winter is carried out on the indoor bike stand. There are two main types of stands: rollers and rear wheel bicycle trainers.
Roller machine helps improving skills of circular pedaling and balancing on a bicycle. But it is quite difficult to carry out high-quality training on simulators to prepare for the race.
Trainers are more versatile and more effective type of bike stands, allowing you to exercise at home and vary the load. There are various bike trainer types, while different manufacturers introduce a wide range of models.
For beginners we recommend an ordinary bike trainer with oil or magnetic resistance.
Those who want to get realistic sensations and achieve the maximum effect from training can try direct-drive indoor trainer.
In perfect conditions both roller and bike trainer provide comprehensive triathlon training, as they solve different tasks. If you can afford only one of them – choose a bike trainer.
A few useful tips for indoor bike training
- Provide enough room ventilation during your workouts before and after your training to ensure a fresh air flow and avoid hypoxia. If the room layout allows opening the window health-safely or if the weather and temperature are favorable – you can use this option. But be extremely careful: avoid drafts so as not to provoke catarrhal diseases, pneumonia, muscle and vascular cramps or myositis.
- In cold winter and strong winds, we don’t recommend training with your window open, as this can lead to the consequences mentioned above. You can use the fan. Set it aside or, if possible, open all doors inside the room to ensure maximum airflow circulation in the room. This will make the training conditions more comfortable.
- Place a fitness mat or a dense cushioning material under the bike stand to reduce noise and vibration. Since such workouts are sweaty, do not forget to wash the mat after.
- Indoor bike training is quite boring and tiresome, so we recommend watching cycling or triathlon events on your tablet or laptop.
- Put a towel on the steering wheel and have at least 2 cups (0.5 liters) of water in your bottle. It is even better to drink isotonic, because as you may have already guessed, such training is wet. Very wet.
Part of winter workouts take place indoor or on the treadmill, but about half, or even 2/3 remain outdoor.
It is comfortable to run in winter at temperatures above 0° F (-18 °C), in areas with low humidity above -13 °F (-25 ° C). Properly chosen clothing and shoes will help you make winter running more comfortable.
Winter running has a few advantages, such as immunity strengthening, higher energy consumption and small muscle stabilizers strengthening by running through the snow.
High-speed training is best done indoor. For this purpose, you can use athletic arenas or treadmills.
A few tips for winter running:
- Warm up and cool down in warm premises before and after your running outdoors;
- Running clothes should make you feel a bit cold at the beginning of the distance;
- Try to track your performance by your heart rate, not by speed (especially at the beginning of winter) as the speed of running in winter usually drops.
- Choose comfortable shoes. Trail running shoes are best choice for winter workouts.
General conditioning workouts
In winter this training aspect requires special attention. A perfect option is adding 3 gym workouts per week. Each workout should include general conditioning exercises for each type of triathlon discipline.
General conditioning workouts in winter may look the following way:
Monday – conditioning training for cycling:
- cable machine leg kickbacks;
- planks and other ABS exercises;
Wednesday — conditioning training for swimming:
- resistance bands exercises;
- bench press;
- overhead lat pulldown;
- hyperextension etc.
Friday — conditioning training for running:
- plyometric exercises;
- calf raises;
- planks and other ABS exercises.
Winter is a great time to build strength and stamina, break your limits and start the upcoming triathlon season in your best shape.