Written By: Carmichael Training Systems Pro Coach Jim Rutberg
I love a good challenge, and over the past few years CTS has been utilizing our blog and Strava to issue challenges for our athletes and subscribers. One of the most popular has been our Thanksgiving Challenge, which was 15 hours or 275 miles outside in seven days the week of Thanksgiving. The week between Christmas and New Years is also ripe for a challenge, but since the weather is likely to be much colder for many people in late December, let’s do this one indoors!
There are a few good reasons to make a New Year’s Challenge an indoor challenge. Besides the cold, December 21 was the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning it’s the day with the fewest daylight hours. Then there’s the traffic, the distracted holiday drivers, the in-laws who are in town, and the other holiday activities that take up your time. So, what’s the New Year’s Challenge? It’s simple, really.
Ride 8 hours on your Wahoo KICKR or KICKR SNAP trainer between December 25 and January 1 (inclusive).
That’s 8 days when you include Christmas and New Year’s Day. You can ride an hour each day or ride a combination of 60-90 minute sessions to accommodate a few days off.
If you’re in a warmer climate and you want to ride outdoors, of course you can do that! Either way, I hope you’ll join me in using this holiday week for a great training block and spending time with family and friends. There’s no registration, no data uploads, no prizes, and no badges. But I’d love to hear about how you’re doing, so use the hashtag #WahooChallenge and tweet tagging @wahoofitness or post to Wahoo’s FB page. To go along with the challenge, I also have some tips for the week.
Tips for the Christmas Week
Between travel, family get-togethers, and of course the big day on Friday, this week can be a tough week for athletes. Here are some tips to help you balance it all:
1. Watch your kilojoules: Keep track of your kilojoules as well as the mileage and time you’re riding. At a moderate pace, a moderately fit cyclist does about 600 kilojoules of work per hour, which equates to about 600 calories burned. If you ride 8 hours during this week at 600 kj/hr, you’ll burn 4,800 calories! And even if you’re not going for a big total for the week, you can also base individual rides on kilojoules. If you’re completing a harder interval workout you may be able to get that total up to 800-900 kilojoules in 60-75 minutes.
2. Start your day with a ride: If you’re taking some time off from work and you have family events planned for the holidays, starting the day with a ride can be a great way to get it done so you can spend the rest of the day with your family.
3. Add some structure: You don’t need to do interval workouts for every trainer session during the New Year’s Challenge, but some structure can make your time on the trainer more engaging. An easy and effective workout is a series of seven three-minute intervals separated by three-minutes of recovery. Often these are done at the highest intensity level you can sustain for a three-minute period (which will be a bit above your lactate threshold). You can also do these at lactate threshold, alternating with 3 minutes at endurance pace/power instead of easy recovery.
4. Control your portions: Holiday meals are made with love and meant to be enjoyed without being overly concerned with nutrition. You have 364 other days to focus on nutrition. But you can do yourself a favor by eating a little bit of everything rather than gorging yourself.