Winter Activities

Preston Park sessions on Saturday mornings are March to October only. From November to February, younger riders may wish to take up a winter, or other, sport but for older riders and those serious to train and race there are a number of opportunities.

Roller and turbo sessions

These are good ways to keep fit for all riders, though they can be hard work. Rollers are especially recommended for younger riders to develop skills of balance, leg speed and pedalling efficiency and the club recommends these over turbos. Rollers are easily taken to events to aid warming up and generally are cheaper than turbos. There are a variety of categorised training activities in this linked Roller and Turbo Sessions document.

Cyclo-cross training

From September to early February there is usually cyclo-cross training at Waterhall near Brighton Rugby Club. This is organised by Brighton Excelsior CC and there is a charge for this session, please see the BECC website.

Wednesday evenings

Sometimes there is an evening chain gang at Preston Park track [sometimes Thursdays too]. This is not run by PPYCC and is recommended only for older, experienced riders with very good bike lights.

Some of our members are affiliated to Brighton Excelsior who run a turbo session at the Adur Outdoor Acitivities Centre in Shoreham from 20.00, please check the BECC website.

Sunday winter morning intervals

To keep those that wish to stay on top of their fitness during the winter in training miles we have our first interval session tomorrow. The track is not booked, there are no session fees and there may be other people using the track. So, come prepared for whatever the weather and whoever the company with your road bike.

Winter sessions traditionally focus on recovering from an intense summer and building up slowly to the next season. Thus, we start long and gentle in our efforts [though not very gentle, this is interval training after all] and progress to shorter and more intense.

Interval Training Session Week 1

Warm up: 10 minutes in a middle to low gear, pedalling with high cadence. Small ring, middle of your cassette, perhaps 39 x 17 or 19. As the warm up progresses avoid changing gear but pedals fast. This can result in good pedalling technique and be quite taxing.

Main session: 4 x 10-minute efforts with a 2 minute rest. For the efforts pedal at 90 x 110 rpm cadence so that you are well on top of your gear. You need to maintain an effort where after the first 4 minutes you no longer wish to hold a conversation. To communicate with other riders you should not wish to say more than a quick word. For the rests freewheel and then pedal gently in a low effort.

Cool down with gentle pedalling until your breathing has returned to normal. This is typically 5 minutes.

Total cycling time: 63 minutes

Interval Training Session Week 2

Warm up: Group warm up 8 laps, odd laps gentle, even laps put the pressure on so that you are breathing a little deeply by the end of the lap. Repeat until 8 laps have been completed. Lasts 10 minutes.

Main session: 6 x 5-minute efforts with a 2 minute rest. For the efforts pedal at 90 x 110 rpm cadence so that you are well on top of your gear. You need to maintain an effort where after the first 3 minutes you no longer wish to hold a conversation. To communicate with other riders, you should not wish to say more than a quick word. For the rests freewheel and then pedal gently in a low effort. You will be aiming to ride faster than for last week’s session as the efforts are shorter, but the key is to work hard and maintain your effort. 42 minutes.

Cool down with gentle pedalling until your breathing has returned to normal. This is typically 5 minutes.

Total cycling time: 57 minutes

Interval Training Session Week 3

Chain gang: ride as a line for for one hour, spend up to an lap on the front before peeling off and fitting in further back in the line. Start slowly and build up the speed over the fist 10 minutes to a pace that the group feels it can maintain to the end.

Tips: For stronger riders spend more time on the front, but do not go right to the back of the line. For less strong riders spend shorter times on the front and make sure to catch the back of the line, when it comes past, to give maximum recovery time. There is not obligation to spend any time on the front if it would result in you being dropped after pulling off. Do not change pace, other than gradually, and do not speed up the pace when first moving to the front.

Total cycling time: 1 hour

Interval Training Session Week 4

Warm up:  8 laps, with 4 laps steady, 2 laps increase the speed, 2 laps fast. Lasts 10 minutes.

Main session: Pyramid. 5 minutes, 4 minutes 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute each with a 1-minute break between. After the 1-minute effort pedal gently for 5 minutes then go back up the pyramid from 1 minute to 5 minutes with the same rests.

Cool down with gentle pedalling until your breathing has returned to normal. This is typically 5 minutes.

Total cycling time: 58 minutes

Interval Training Session Week 5

Warm up: 10 minutes in a middle to low gear, pedalling with high cadence. Small ring, middle of your cassette, perhaps 39 x 17 or 19. As the warm up progresses avoid changing gear but pedals fast. This can result in good pedalling technique and be quite taxing. 10 minutes.

Main session: 2- and 1-minute intervals. Ride 2 minutes hard, take 1-minute rest, repeat 4 times. Ride 1 minute hard, take 1-minute rest; repeat 4 times. Repeat the set twice but reverse the 1- and 2-minutes interval order for the second set so that you finish with the 2-minute intervals. Take a 5-minute rest between the two sets. 43 minutes.

Cool down with gentle pedalling until your breathing has returned to normal. This is typically 5 minutes.

Total cycling time: 58 minutes

Interval Training Session Week 6

Chain gang: ride as a line for for one hour, spend up to an lap on the front before peeling off and fitting in further back in the line. Start slowly and build up the speed over the fist 10 minutes to a pace that the group feels it can maintain to the end.

Tips: For stronger riders spend more time on the front, but do not go right to the back of the line. For less strong riders spend shorter times on the front and make sure to catch the back of the line, when it comes past, to give maximum recovery time. There is not obligation to spend any time on the front if it would result in you being dropped after pulling off. Do not change pace, other than gradually, and do not speed up the pace when first moving to the front.

Total cycling time: 1 hour