Feature: Matt Bottrill’s Top Ten Winter Training Tips


As winter starts to get a grip, Matthew Bottrill (Giant/Drag2Zero) lists his top 10 tips for winter training

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1. Now’s the time to set your goals. Write these down and display them where you can see them every day – you’re more likely to stick to them that way! This has to be personal to you. It could be anything from a personal best time for an event you are planning to enter, to lose weight, to gain power or just to train more consistently. I always set three big goals for the season and use the rest of the races as markers for improvements.


2. Break down your goals into managable chunks. Once your goals are set, you need to break each month down, and set smaller goals on the way. I use a power meter for this and use WKO software which tracks my training load. My Coach Bob Tobin www.cyclepowermeters.com sets my training each week.

3. Get a plan. If you’re looking for some real fitness and improvements now’s the time to either get a coach, or if that is out of reach, start doing some reading on how to improve your fitness. If you’re going to coach yourself, write your plan down and again have it where you can see it.

4. Train with your heart. For real fitness you need to train with power and heart rate. This will allow you to see improvements in fitness and let you know when you’re ill. See my other blog for my top 5 training sessions and heart rate / power zones here:


5. Make training interesting. This can be anything from riding different roads and routes to using different cadence.
6. Don’t repeat. Repeat. Don’t repeat. Never train the same every week – do that and you’re just going to be working the same muscle groups and you will never reach your full potential. Mix it up.

7. Ride your race bike. If you’re a triathlete or time trialist, ride your time trial bike through the Winter. This will allow your body to adapt to the position and strengthen your muscles, so when you start racing, your body and fitness will be there.

8. Think about your lifestyle. Training is not just about riding your bike, it’s also about lifestyle. Read up on nutrition and recovery and apply these principals to make sure your training efforts are maximised.

9. Rest. This is the part most riders neglect – plan for periods of rest within your programme to ensure your body recovers and you enjoy the most gains.

10. Enjoy. And keep smiling!


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