It’s around this time of year that cyclists start to dabble in all sorts of other dark arts.
Aside from all the indoor cycling with turbos, rollers and spin classes, there are several cross-training options that tempt even the keenest of riders. And fortunately, gone are the days when ‘sport specific’ training principles meant that if you were a ‘true cyclist’ you would never put one foot in front of the other unless it was attached to a pedal.
Choosing the right cross-training for you can really enhance your overall fitness and well-being through the winter, and indirectly improve your cycling as well. Boredom and being forced indoors are probably the overwhelming reasons for looking at the options, but as well as the psychological and practical benefits of variety, your body will thank you for the physical variation too.
What do you need the most?
Of course it’s important you choose something you enjoy, but if you can hit on something that you need as well, you are really onto a winner. It is always easier to choose to do something that you are already good at, but even better to try something that you will find difficult at first, or that you know will be helpful for its physical benefits.
Some people view cross-training in terms of how it may directly enhance and maintain aerobic fitness when you don’t have much time for the bike. But contrasting activities that deal with the elements that are weakened or neglected when cycling are probably best if you are already maintaining several hours of cycling in your weekly schedule.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some cross-training options that offer an aerobic benefit alongside something else as well.