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Ask GCN: How to Train in the Off-season

on March 11, 2019

Question (Brendan O’Regan): As a general sportive rider, what are the best Zwift workouts/plans to do over winter to keep fresh with hills and flat riding?

So you finished the sunnier half of the year with sportives and now you’re looking to stay lean, fast, and fresh. You’ve come to the right place.

Winter is perfect for maintaining fitness. With slightly lower volume, it’s a bit less stressful than adhering to the active season’s usual strict and structured training programs.

This is where Zwift comes into play. Our workouts offer controlled high-intensity interval training that will give you a lift in your general fitness. Come spring, you’ll be stronger and faster for any road.

The Active Offseason

Check out Active Offseason, a 12-week program on Zwift specifically designed for cyclists to stay fit through (you guessed it) the off-season.

Largely foundational, Active Offseason has considerable variance in ride distance and duration. You’ll find the longest rides in any of our training plans here. If you’re a more casual Zwifter, however, you may want to pick up a less demanding plan. This plan will push you to your limits. Whip you into shape and keep you there through a mix of workout periodization and sweet spot training. You’ll come into next season ready to dive right into your next race.

Seems like it’s right up your alley, Brendan.

If you have other specific goals in mind, Zwift lets you personalize your training.

Create your own plan in the “Custom Workouts” section of the workout selection screen. Track your progress week in and week out. Fine-tune all the details specific to your training needs. If you like a 12-week program, but only have 8 weeks to spare, it’ll re-adjust so you get the most important workouts in that 8-week period.

Take It Outside

Training on Zwift can significantly elevate your outdoor training and riding as well. Consistency and volume are key, making a comprehensive training plan so effective. Pay attention to how your body handles longer endurance rides in the 3-4 hour range.

Sprints, too. Your body will be better conditioned for quick surges above the threshold. Do 5-8 second sprints with 12 minutes of rest between them. Just don’t forget to layer up. It’s a bit chilly out there. If the temps make you reconsider, Zwift is always waiting for you.

Good luck in the off-season!


About Our Ask GCN Series

We teamed up with GCN to help guide you as you dive further into fitness. Learn everything from fast-twitch muscle building to endurance training to getting back on the bike after surgery.

You can submit any question to GCN by tagging #AskGCNTraining on Twitter. If they select your question, you’ll earn 3 months of free Zwift!

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