by ALP Coach Patricia Schwager

The winter and the holiday seasons are coming closer. Most of my athletes enjoyed their off season break sometime back in October or early November and by now it is time to be back in training for next season.

How do we manage to get back into training and build up for 2018 despite the holiday stress and possible dark, cold and nasty winter weather? It is time to come up with a plan! That's also why working with a coach year-round is important. A good winter training/ build-up is key to perform in 2018. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of the training during the winter and holiday seasons:

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-Have a goal: as always, having a goal is more motivating. By now you should have thought about your 2018 goals or events. If not, think about a goal for 2018. It doesn't need to be a race. It can be an event, challenge or ride.

-Mix your training up with different activities, especially this time of the year. Some examples include: weight lifting/strength training, hiking, MTB-ing, cyclo-cross, running, yoga, snow shoeing, skiing etc. This will also help you to keep balance and stay motivated.

-Work on skills and weaknesses. Fall and winter time is a great time to work on your skills and weaknesses. There is no stress or pressure of having to perform in the next race or event and that means you can really focus to work on your skills and weaknesses. The more you work on it the more you will improve.

-Wear the right gear. Make sure you are wearing the right clothing for the dark, cold and wet winter weather conditions. Having the right gear vs the wrong gear will make a big difference. We highly recommend the winter bike clothing from Pactimo!

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-Ride with a group. It is a lot easier to stay motivated if you meet up with folks for a ride or other activity. The ride and training goes by faster with good company!

-If you are in a time crunch with all the holiday activities: think about the holiday season and plan ahead. Let your coach know if you like to have a few days off to spend time with family, friends or for travel etc. Schedule 1-2hrs per days for yourself to get your training done and then spend the rest of the day doing holiday activities.

Happy training!

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