Many pros will also be heading abroad at this time of year for dedicated training camps, either with their team or on their own.
It’s a luxury less freely available to the rest of us, of course, but an increasing number of amateur racers and sportive riders are heading overseas for a week’s riding in the winter or spring to rack up the miles.
Stewart has spent his last few winters in Gran Canaria, though his advice could just as easily be condensed into a shorter trip away, with the Canary Islands, Majorca, Spain, France and Italy all popular training destinations in southern Europe when the weather in the UK is less kind.
Describing his typical trip, Stewart explains: “It’s something I do myself and I’ll do blocks of three days on and one day off and then I do that for three weeks, have an easy week, and then do another three weeks like that.
“That’s a good, solid seven-week block and I know how I’ll come out of that as I’ve done a similar thing the last few years.
“For me, the departure date is something to aim for. I know that if I’m a little bit overweight now, it doesn’t matter because once I’m there, I’ll have no distractions – I can stiffen up my diet and target all the problems I’ve found, be it sprinting or climbing.
“That’s when the hard work begins and it means I can relax at the minute, too – not get too loose but not panic either.
“For the first couple of weeks it will be mileage. Gran Canaria is quite hilly and you do the efforts on the climbs without realising it. Again it’s easier on your head.
“If I had to go out on a flat road and sit at threshold for so long then that would be hard to do mentally. If it’s just on a climb in the middle of your ride then you don’t realise you’re doing it. After that, it will be specific efforts, tailored to try and improve a particular area of my riding.”