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After the fun I had doing my first sprint triathlon last summer, I’m determined to do another one (hopefully an Olympic) in the summer of 2013. Because I don’t live in a place where it’s practical to bike for the next 4-5 months, I need to find another alternative. The gym I belong to has a number of stationary bikes, and while it is certainly not anywhere close to as enjoyable as road biking is, it’s a viable option. Since my triathlon at the end of August, I’ve only been on a road bike once: the day before Thanksgiving. I had three months of only training on the stationary bike, so when I hit the road I was especially nervous, especially because the route I bike ends with a hill with a 100 foot change in elevation. That hill has always been tough, and even before my tri I had to struggle up that hill.

When I hit the road on Thanksgiving, I was a little nervous how the hill would go, especially because I hadn’t done it in about 4 months. I was happy that I zipped up it with not too much problem at all. Clearly, despite training on a stationary bike, I was still developing strength and endurance! I was really happy to see that, and great news for all of us training for triathlons or other bike races next spring and summer!

This is what I do:

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I do this sports hill interval workout that’s a KILLER. Every 1.5 or 2 minutes I climb a hill for 1.5 to 2 minutes, then go flat for the same length of time. These intervals are a killer, and I’m definitely shaking when I’m done with the workout. Over the last few months I’ve wondered how it would work, but I have to say that it’s been great! I’m guessing that this type of cross training also helped me set my 22 minute PR in my last half marathon!

Stationary bikes have lots of different types of workouts, but this is the one that I’ve found that I enjoy the most. I guess the whole point of this post is just to say don’t fear the stationary bikes. They can be a great benefit to your fitness level throughout the winter, and can be a great type of cross training for all you runners out there!

Now it’s your turn to share! If you train for triathlons, how do you keep up your training in the winter? What’s your favorite way to modify “outdoor activities” when the weather isn’t nice? 

Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer or a doctor, and this post is not meant to take the place of either. This post is meant to simply share another option for working out that has worked well for me! Please talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness regimen. 

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