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Training & Nutrition

Three Training Challenges to Keep You Fit Over Christmas

Don't lose all those lovely fitness gains over just a few weeks of the year!

Christmas comes just once a year – but you don’t have to to let it interfere with all the hard work you’ve been doing for the other eleven and a half months.

There’s no reason you need to let your fitness drop over the festive period – but with plenty of other distractions floating around, sometimes you need a little more motivation.

Here are three ‘fun’ challenges that will definitely keep you pushing…

Race your friends on Zwift

The months of December and January aren’t the best for riding outside. Sometimes you can wrap up and get a good ride in, but there will be days when you just can’t complete the ride or intervals you wanted given the conditions. However, turbo training can be boring.

That’s where Zwift comes in.  With Zwift, you can connect with riders across the world and enjoy famous routes and climbs. All you need to use the platform is a turbo trainer, a PC or Mac, a speed/cadence sensor (or a power meter if you have one) and an Ant+ dongle that will communicate your information to the programme.

Virtual Training through Injury: Using Zwift to Survive Three Months off the Bike

Once set up (you can dress your rider in the appropriate kit!), your speed on the screen will relate to your speed on the bike – start slacking and your mate will pull away, but if you put in an attack they’ll know about it.

It’s a bit like a weird cross between Strava, Facebook, and the Sims… but certainly a lot more fun than turbo-ing on your own!

Rapha Festive 500 with Strava

The Rapha Festive 500 takes place every year, and has done since 2010. The Strava challenge is simple: ride 500km (310 miles) between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. All rides must be uploaded to Strava and manual entries don’t count (so no cheating!).

Everyone who completes the distance gets a commemorative roundel -and there are also some special prices for those who really go above and beyond.

Become a Knight(ess) of Sufferlandria

How sadistic are you feeling, then?!

Sufferfest videos – training videos with turbo specific interval sessions you can copy on the screen, accompanied by heart pumping music – are a great way to motivate yourself to ride.

If you want to really go for it and challenge yourself, you could have a pop at the Knights Of Sufferlandria challenge. To become a Knight(ess), all you have to do is do ten videos, back to back, and prove you did them with data (heart rate, speed/candence sensor or power meter information will do).

Most people who become Knighted perform the task in a group. So – if you’ve really gone a bit overboard on  the Christmas Day turkey and treats – why not ask your mates over for a Boxing Day sweat fest?

And what do you get in return for your efforts? Some very special bike decals, and the chance to purchase limited edition Sufferfest cycling kit. Well worth it, then!

There are three ideas to get you going – enjoy! 

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