What should I do at the weekend?
If you’re following the Hotchillee Winter Warmer Training Plan, by the time the weekend comes round you should have already ticked off two quality mid-week sessions – The WOT (Watts on Tuesday) workout and The Gain Train – or equivalent session.
The weekend is purposely left fairly flexible with the open-ended suggestion of an “endurance focused ride”.
Why is there no set session?
Mainly because everyone will be going into their autumn/winter with very different fitness, goals and time availability. The midweek rides, for which intensity is determined by the rider’s FTP, are applicable to all but this is much trickier for longer weekend rides.
Leaving it open with some suggestions means that people can do what works for them.
What sort of ride could I do?
Whatever floats your boat….
Get out for some solid solo kilometres on the road, join a local club run, get on #members_meetup channel on the Hotchillee App and organise a spin with some Chillees. If you prefer a bit of the rough stuff, hit the trails on your gravel bike or MTB.
How long should I aim to ride for?
You don’t need to be putting in epic endurance rides through the autumn and early winter – especially if your main targets for 2023 are not until late spring/summer.
I always tend to view my Sunday rides at this time of year and through to well into February as being more about maintenance, the social side and mixing up road, off-road and virtual depending on how I’m feeling, who’s about and the weather.
If I’m heading out with mates on the road or trails then it’ll typically be for 3-4 hours but I won’t give myself a hard time if I end up only doing 90 minutes on the turbo instead.
With the midweek sessions of the Hotchillee Winter Warmer Training Plan, if you’re consistently putting in a 90-minute + ride at the weekend, that’s great and will keep you ticking over nicely.
What pace/intensity should I ride at?
Mix it up but definitely don’t buy into the outdated “strict low intensity winter base” way of thinking.
Strict steady winter base training can be effective for professional riders, who can log 30-hour plus weeks. The sheer volume they’re able to do provides the training stimulus and gives them the deep base of endurance fitness they require for the heavy racing load they have to contend with in-season. However, even for pros, the concept of just doing steady work over the winter has largely fallen out of favour.
For non-pros, who are having to juggle work, family and other commitments and can only probably manage 5-15 hours weekly on the bike, sticking purely to low intensity is a waste of precious training time. Training load is a combination of volume and intensity and, if both are low, you’re not going to be giving your body any significant training stimulus to adapt to. The only way to create training load on limited time is by including some intensity.
So, don’t hesitate to push it on climbs, contest a few village sign sprints and add some spice to your winter rides.
What about a virtual ride?
If you’re short of time and/or the weather doesn’t make an outdoor ride seem very appealing, then an indoor ride can be the way the go.
Also, without freewheeling, junctions or the temptation of a café stop, a solid 90-minute indoor ride can easily deliver the same training load as a 2-hour or more outdoor ride.
Our Race, Ride or Conquer Series that rolls from 0830 every Sunday on Zwift is the ideal choice.
The routes will typically be in the 70-120 mins range but we might throw in some longer ones too.
If you want to be at the pointy end, join Race (A) and see how hard you can push it. If you drop off the pace, you can always fall into one of the slower groups coming along behind.
If you want a good solid pace endurance ride, join Ride (C). This group will be led at about 2-2.5 w/kg by one of our experienced Ride Leaders.
If you’d prefer to take things at your own pace, maybe with your own group of likeminded riders – then join Conquer (E). Join this ride and other Hotchillee rides on Zwift with this link.
What is FTP and why it’s important to do a test
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Glen is usually behind the scenes making sure that the Hotchillee Ride Captains and event participants have fully functioning bicycles to ride but he occasionally makes an appearance in front of the camera to share his wisdom. If he’s not fixing or building bikes he’ll be out riding in #SweetSussex. If you want to know anything about Cyclocross, Glen is the man to ask.
Consultant with British Cycling and author of the Road Cycling Performance Manual. Lover of cobbles, gravel and Siberian Pine – not so keen on climbs! Nik is the author of all of the Hotchillee Training Plans, Zwift workout files and regularly posts tips and advice on the Hotchillee app. He’s also the evil genius behind the now infamous Hotchillee Gain Train.
Adele has worked within the health and fitness industry for over 25 years starting with a ballet and dance background herself, she has progressed to training and teaching all styles of fitness and offers Pilates, barre & yoga. As a keen runner, Adele appreciates the need for a strong healthy body and mind and incorporates many elements of Pilates, yoga and barre into her own training to ensure her strength and stamina remain.