Signed Up For A Spring Sportive? Here’s 4 Steps To Planning Your Winter Training

They say that the early bird catches the worm. If you’re an early bird and have already signed up for a sportive or cycling challenge in 2017, you may be wondering how to structure your training over winter, to ensure you’re in the best possible shape when the event rolls around.

Lucky for you, we’ve developed a simple guide to help you start your winter training with focus and dedication.

Step 1: Identify your challenges

The very first thing you need to do when planning your training is to identify your biggest challenges. Try to be as specific as possible when pinpointing these. Take time to have a detailed look at the route profile for your chosen event – are there any major climbs which could have you stumped? Do you want to smash the timed section? Do you need to build endurance to combat the dreaded final-day fatigue?

Get clear on the specific improvements that you need to make in order to tackle your challenge head on. If you want to conquer the climb, you may need to enhance your power to weight ratio. If you want to smash the timed section, then you’ll need to increase your speed.

Step 2: Assess your current performance

Toyoki Takeda takes on a Wattbike test

Once you’ve identified your biggest challenges, the starting point for any improvement is an assessment of your current situation. If you completed an end of year review, this is the perfect time to gather your notes and look for areas where you felt weak during the season. Another way to assess your current performance is through Wattbike testing, as you’ll be able to see your key metrics during and after your test.

If you’re confused about which metrics you should be measuring for your specific challenge, take a look at the guidance below:

Goal Metric to measure How to measure
Improved climbing Power to weight ratio Submaximal ramp test
Increased speed mph/ kph over a specific distance Ride for a specific distance (e.g. 10 miles) measuring speed
Enhanced endurance Sustainable power A cycling test at the start of your training programme, then a retest to check progress and improvement
More efficient pedalling Polar View Pedalling technique session



Step 3: Identify the gaps

Once you know your current performance you can start to identify the gaps between where you are now, and where you want to be.

Using climbing as an example, you may have found that your current power-to-weight is 2.5W/KG. To help you climb up and over the hills of your chosen sportive, perhaps you’d like to increase your power to weight to 3W/KG. This 0.5W/KG difference is specific and measureable. This is fundamental to the next step, implementing specific training sessions.

Step 4: Implement specific training sessions

After identifying your challenges and assessing your performance, you’ll need to start weaving structured training sessions into your week. You can find sessions on our website and smartphone app to help you achieve almost any goal. Here are a few below:

Sessions to improve fitness

Sessions to improve power

Technique improvement session

Aerobic base endurance session

Sustained power output session

Once you’ve completed a block of training sessions, we recommend measuring your metrics every 6-8 weeks to check your improvements. If you’re looking for a training plan to give structure to your training, try our winter training plan.