In cold weather climates, certain aspects of triathlon training are, by necessity, pushed indoors for the winter months. This presents a significant training challenge for triathletes, as it can be very difficult to mimic the feel of road biking on a stationary cycle or open-water swimming in a 25-meter lap pool. However, by getting creative, dedicated triathletes can cobble together an indoor triathlon training program capable of minimizing lost progress during the off-season. Consider using one or more of the following solutions when winter gets in the way of triathlon training:
Outdoor running has fewer barriers than swimming or biking during the winter months, but it can still be hazardous if paths are covered in snow and ice. As a result, even the most dedicated outside runners may be forced indoors when treacherous conditions strike. These triathletes often admit that they dislike the feeling of running but never actually going anywhere. However, in many ways, a session on the treadmill is far preferable to running laps inside. Specific settings on the treadmill can be applied to approximate the feeling of running uphill. For an ordinary treadmill workout that does not involve hill climbing, setting the treadmill at a slight incline is necessary to account for the impact of wind resistance.
Take Spin Class
Even the most motivated triathlete may struggle to pick up the pace during solo ventures on the stationary bike. Stationary biking is nowhere near as exciting as an adventure in the great outdoors, and the moment boredom sets in, indoor triathletes tend to slow down.
Bust boredom and get motivated at a high-intensity spin class, which mimics such triathlon essentials as hill climbing and sprinting. Some gyms have spin classes specifically targeted at wintertime triathletes unable to put their road bikes to good use. However, nearly any advanced spin class should provide a sufficient workout.
Masters Swimming For Triathletes
Just as the camaraderie of a spin class can motivate triathletes who have the winter blues, masters swimming programs can enhance pool-based workouts for those limited to the confines of 25-meter indoor pools. Masters programs are especially useful for those new to triathlon swimming or those with the suspect technique that could use some refinement. Targeted feedback from masters instructors allows participants to fix issues with their stroke. As a result, swimmers can improve their performance during the winter months and emerge ready to take on the challenges of the open water when warm weather finally returns.
If participation in a masters class is not an option, the next best solution for indoor triathlon training is to find an indoors 50-meter pool. These expansive pools prevent swimmers from getting too reliant on pushing off from the edge every 25 meters. Indoor Olympic pools are not nearly as prevalent as their short-course counterparts, but they can often be found on large college campuses. Some of these college aquatic centers offer limited hours for open lap swimming.
Winter weather is a huge burden for dedicated triathletes, but those unwilling to move to warmer regions must make the best of what is available at the gym. This means joining spin and masters class and hitting up the treadmill for intense hill climbing workouts.