With all this snow we've had across the UK in the past few weeks, it seems it hasn't been the best winter training start for a lot of riders. I've actually managed to tough it out ok, although my road bike has only seen tarmac (and gritty/icey tarmac at that!) once in the last 3 weeks. As an alternative to the planned long road miles, i've just been getting out on my mountain bike when the surface has been grippy enough (not too icey), visits to the gym and of course plenty of turbo workouts.
Last week I actually clocked up more miles on the turbo trainer than I did outside. Now, once you mention turbo sessions, a lot of riders cringe, but with the right setup they can actually be quite enjoyable. The key is good cooling, a good turbo setup and plenty of cycling DvD's to keep the motivation high. For workouts, you can get a good, productive session in just 1 hour - I find http://www.turbotraining.co.uk/ to be great for this - check it out!
I've got my rig setup in my bedroom, in front of my computer which has TV channels and DvD via remote (if you are too lazy to get off the bike and click the mouse ;-) ). A simple cooling fan from your local bargain centre and i'm good to go.
To gauge the effort and workout, the tools i'm using are a Kurt Kinetic watt computer for power output and a Polar CS200 computer which has heart rate and cadence functions built in. Simple enough but all that's required.
Add to that a good cup of joe and there are no exuses for a winter of indoor training :-D