Well its the middle of winter and there is 5 inches of snow on the ground and I am too cheap to buy a gym membership and take spinning classes, so what do I do? I break out my windtrainer that Santa Claus got me this Christmas.
Riding the windtrainer in the wintertime can be quite boring. Watching T.V. breaks up the monotony, or playing music can help, but neither solution is going to guarantee that you get a good workout. I have tried different methods of training in the past to make my workouts more efficient and less boring. When I was watching the "Cops" tv show I would go really hard for 3 minutes if someone with a mullet was arrested. Of course I would be exhausted by the end of this workout. There are other variations of this workout, be imaginative.
There is another solution to break up the monotony and get a good workout, the Spinerval series of videos. I recently purchased one of the Spinerval videos from my local bike store and was pleasantly surprised about the workout offered by the video.
The video is geared to people working out on bicycles. They tell you the specific gears that you should be during the workout and the RPM's that you should be peddling during the session. I went through the hour and half workout and the next day my legs were quite sore. I have taken spinning classes in the past and the techniques that are used in this video are pretty similar to them. I recommend purchasing one of these videos.
As for the running aspect of my training, I have been running outdoors fairly regularly. When the weather is too brutal to venture out in the cold, I have been running laps at the local college gym. They have a 1/8 mile track that is nice to do interval work on.
It would be quite insane to try and run regular long distances on an 1/8 mile indoor track, and with all the turning my left knee would be killing me the next day. So, I have been doing an interval workout that only takes a half an hour to do and it gives me quite a good workout. I run five minutes to warm up, then for 2 minutes I run at full speed, then I run 3 minutes regular pace, 2 minutes fast....ect. for a half an hour, followed by 5 minutes of
cool-down running. This workout is supposed to be good to build speed (I will let you
know if it actually works).
As for the swimming aspect of my training, I was getting quite good swim training before Christmas. I rearranged my work schedule and was swimming three days a week in the mornings before I went to work. Then I got sick (think there's a connection?). So I have been limiting my exposure to water, until I get to be 100% better, or they turn the heat up in the local college pool. When I am recovered, I plan on swimming 2 times a week.
Winter can be a time to get a jumpstart on spring training, and get that advantage over the rest of the field. I am increasing my events to Olympic distance this season, so I am going to need all the help that I can get.