While the European winter can mean a break from some competitive road racing, that doesn’t mean time off the bike for everyone.
Storey Racing’s Charlotte Parnham and Katie Toft told us how they tackle their training and stay motivated during off-season.
Q. Off-season is about building a base for the next season ahead. What sessions can you expect to do during the ‘off-season’?
Charlotte: Off-season is all about zone 2, so longer endurance rides are on the menu! I also like to mix this up with some strength work.
Katie: Yeah, I’ll be doing plenty of longer rides and with a bit of luck not too much turbo. I’ll also be continuing working in the gym, we change my programme every few weeks with the help of the Derbyshire Institute of Sport, so those adaptations plus the work on the bike will hopefully aid progression over the next few months.
Q. It’s important to keep focus and prepare for races in a few months’ time but how do you stay motivated during the bad weather and darker nights?
Katie: I think this is where being able to dig down into the InfoCrank data is especially helpful as you can see key areas develop, which helps drive you forward particularly when it’s cold and wet.
Charlotte: I use an indoor trainer a lot, which suits my working hours. I am always planning, so my goals are already set for next year. Once you have determined your goal, it is usually easier to stay motivated in order to work towards your goal.
Q. Do you have items of kit or clothing that are an absolute necessity for training during the winter?
Charlotte: Yes – I have a long sleeved Le Col winter jacket, which keeps me nice and warm during the winter months. I also ride off-road during the winter, and have some lovely winter boots, which keep my feet warm!
Katie: Until I started riding for Storey Racing and wearing Le Col kit I’d never worn a gilet; now I never go out without one! It doesn’t matter if you get caught out in the rain just put the extra layer on and it just gives you that extra bit of protection.
Q. How do you use your InfoCrank power meter to maintain and track your fitness while you’re not racing? Do you focus on heart rate?
Katie: I tend to do a bit of both and it depends on the ride type, the conditions and the length of ride.
Charlotte: I use my power meter for all of my training, including on the track. We work in zones, so having my InfoCrank is essential. We also use heart rate in conjunction with the power meter, especially on longer rides, to ensure everything is heading in the right direction during the winter months.
Q. There’s lots of indoor training to be done when the weather is miserable outside. Is power measurement more important to indoor training and racing?
Charlotte: Power measurement is an important factor in order to use Zwift, mainly because it works from power to weight ratio.When training on the road and indoors, power is still an important factor, because it prevents you from going too hard when you should be taking it steadier on that session.
Power measurement is also an important part of pacing your effort in a race, whether this is indoors or outdoors.
Katie: Absolutely.Having the Infocrank as part of my set up helps me to add a bit of excitement on Zwift when things start to heat up
Q. Lots of cyclists tend to escape to warm weather training camps during the winter months. Do you have a favourite place for winter training?
Katie: I’ve been to Majorca in the past and absolutely loved it, I went out this spring time.
Charlotte: Totally agree, Majorca every time!
Q. Fuelling longer endurance rides during the winter is even more important. Do you use your power meter to track calorie expenditure and do you have a favourite on bike go-to snack to refuel mid ride?
Charlotte: A power meter seems to be more accurate in measuring calorie consumption than heart rate. I have found that I burn more calories when using my InfoCrank when I check the data! My favourite snack mid-ride has got to be an omelette if I can find a nice café en route.
Katie: It definitely helps, having Cerebral Palsy often means I use a lot more energy so to see exactly how much is very useful. My favourite on the bike snack is homemade banana flapjack, there might be a Christmas batch in the pipeline.
Q. Why does the Storey Racing team like training and racing with the InfoCrank power meter?
Katie: Racing and training with InfoCrank ensures the whole Storey Racing team have access to completely reliable and accurate data thanks to the very best power measuring device available.
Charlotte: So many of us use different types of bikes for training and racing, but with InfoCrank, the cross over from bike to bike means data is consistent and reliable.