In the past, it was argued that in winter it was convenient to train at low frequencies. Today this rule is a little less strict.
Winter is synonymous with basic training for most athletes. First, you have to recover from a year of strenuous training and perhaps competitions, then you rebuild your fitness with caution.
But what does this mean in terms of heart rate? How high should it be in basic training? No matter how beautiful winter is in the mountains and how much it stimulates you to play sports, it can easily cause an increase (too high) in frequency. It is above all the training with cross-country skis in skating technique or even the strenuous excursions with snowshoes that inevitably raise the frequency, especially since both sports are practiced at high altitude and not in the plains.
It is therefore advisable to take a look at the heart rate monitor from time to time and consciously measure the effort. In basic training, fast and intensive workouts are not the focus, but long and relaxed activities. We talk about basic training when the frequency moves between 65% and 75% of the maximum frequency * (65% for cycling, 75% for running and swimming).
BUILD THE FOUNDATION
So if your maximum frequency is 170 beats, in your case the base frequency corresponds to 110-130 beats, a value that is reached very quickly. We must be aware of this. Basic training is considered by many to be “insufficient training” because the intensity is too light and seems to be of no use. Quite the opposite, however, basic training is the foundation on which higher intensities can be built, therefore it should always be included in the annual preparation and carried out for a prolonged period of time. Long is better than fast, this is the principle.
At the same time, a certain variability is recommended also in winter. In the past, it was almost “sacrosanct” to train exclusively at very low intensities for several months, if, in addition to basic training, you also had to schedule sessions with high frequency. If the temperatures are very low, it is possible, in order not to strain the airways unnecessarily, to switch to the roller for the bicycle or the treadmill and do some repetitions. Doing targeted athletics work (strength, speed, coordination, agility) is also explicitly recommended in the first months of a new season. Especially the timing should be considered so that one can recover sufficiently after intensive sessions.
* The maximum frequency is not always exactly the same, but it depends on the day and also on the willingness to train intensely or not.