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A week of winter training in Montreal with James Piccoli

Tour de Beauce winner uses intermittent fasting, spin classes and a wide range of activities to make up for less volume while at home in January

In this recurring series, Canadian Cycling Magazine will take a look at the Monday to Friday training programs of some of Canada’s top cyclists. From the hours on the bike to the other activities and training that gets incorporated into their plans, we will get a glimpse on how Canada’s top road cyclists prepare for some of the worlds biggest races. Here is what a week of training looks like for Montreal-native James Piccoli while at home in January.

James Piccoli on the attack at the 2018 GP Quebec.

James Piccoli had a great 2018 season highlighted by winning the 2018 Tour de Beauce with a stage win and a strong tactical race to seal the overall victory while racing on Canada’s national team. The 2019 season will be Piccoli’s third with Elevate – KHS Pro Cycling where he’ll race alongside fellow Canadians Jordan Cheyne and Adam Roberge.

RELATED: A week of winter training with Sara Poidevin

While Piccoli does get out of his hometown of Montreal for training camps during the winter—he was in Las Vegas in December—he also spends time at home where he manages to use a wide array of activities to stay in shape.

“So what my winter home training normally consists of is using higher intensity training and fasted rides to make up for the lack of volume of riding,” Piccoli explained about a week of training while in Montreal in January. “I’ve done winters with a lot of trainer riding but I find it’s better to save that motivation for on road riding since I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of the winter down south. This is what a week would look like.”

Training program for a week in Montreal for James Piccoli

Short fasted run in the a.m.
Spin class in the p.m.
Three-hour trainer session with some gym work
Book two spin classes: 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. (and ask nicely if I can ride in between!)
Long walk/hike (3 to 5 hours) and errands with my girlfriend
Fasted basketball with friends in the a.m.
Hockey in the p.m.
Gym session in the a.m.
Spin class in the p.m.
Fasted spin class in the a.m.
Spin class in the p.m.

“This winter I’ve been doing a lot of spinning (yes pros spin too!) and other forms of training,” Piccoli explained. “I also take this time to read about training and nutrition, and set my goals and get into a good mind space before the upcoming season.”

The activities Piccoli does while in Montreal during the winter helps keep him in shape and set the base for when he begins riding outside. It’s also a good example of what recreational cyclists can incorporate into their winter training plan if they want to mix things up from just doing trainer workouts.

More Canadian Winter Training Plans:

A big week of off-season training with Michael Woods
A week of winter base training with Leah Kirchmann
A week of winter training in Canada with Catharine Pendrel
A winter training week focused on recovery with Haley Smith
A week of winter training with Sara Poidevin
Student pro vs. full time racer: Two weeks of winter training with Peter Disera