Magnus Backstedt: “I’m not one of these guys who sit at 23kph”

Swedish ex-pro cyclist describes his winter training regime

(Photo: John Pierce – Photosport International)

Swedish triathlete and ex-pro cyclist Magnus Backstedt shares his favourite winter training drills, and picks the kit that keeps him warm and dry through the off-season.


How do you adapt your bike training for winter?

To be totally honest I don’t do much in terms of adapting my bike for winter training. The only thing I do is add mudguards. 

Apart from that there isn’t anything different, my tyres and wheels stay the same as my summer training bike.

What are your favourite bike drills for the cold months?

My winter training does change a little bit, but I’m not one of these guys who sit at 23kph rolling around the lanes. 

I firmly believe training in the winter is pretty much the same as the summer, except I don’t do as much VO2 work.  

My favourite winter drill has got to be the strength endurance drills. Six to eight reps of 6min hill work, turning the pedals at 40rpm at FTP [Functional Threshold Power], as well as 20min FTP efforts. 

The latter is, and should be, every rider’s bread-and-butter drill.

What is the most common training mistake that many cyclists make at the time of year?

Not enough workload in the rides. Rolling around the lanes barely touching the pedals isn’t going to make you any stronger or fitter for the summer months. 

You might as well sit at home and watch a good action film, it’ll get your heart rate up to about the same level.

Do you have any favourite winter kit that you can’t do without?

Oh, that has got to be my drysuit gloves. Head down to the local diving shop and buy a set, dry and warm hands are key to staying out there for long hours.

I also love my TEC Components latex overshoes that fit over my neoprene overshoes.

What triathlons do you have planned for next year?

I have been a bit slow getting my entries in, but I’m hoping to somehow get the following done: Abu Dhabi long course, IM Lanzarote, IM 70.3 UK, Vansbro Triathlon Sweden (70.3 distance), IM Lake Placid and Kona (qualified in Wales 2013).

Magnus can be found on Twitter at @MagnusBackstedt


(Photo: John Pierce – Photosport International)