my season draws to a close I’m wondering what I should do in the off-season?
that September is finally here and the first hint of fall is in the air, it is
time to think about what you want to do once your season is officially
over. Depending on where you live
you may already be done, or you may have another 1-2 months of racing still to
go. By this time, however, almost
all of us are feeling the burnout associated with a long summer of training and
is the best time of year to give yourself a mental and physical break from the
bike and do things you’ve been missing out on all summer. Once you finish your last race I
recommend taking at least four weeks completely off the bike. Your body needs the rest, and your head
needs a chance to decompress from the rigors of training and racing. With that being said, I was never very
good about staying away from my bike for a month. September and October are some of the best months to ride
bikes here in Colorado so I would often grab my mountain bike and go out with
friends for some epic rides in the aspens before the snow started falling. It is ok if you still want to ride a
few times a week. The biggest
thing is that you only ride for fun and you don’t do anything that can be
considered "training”. Yes you
will lose fitness but that’s the idea.
Your body needs a break!
is also a great time to do some hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing, rock
climbing etc. Go out with friends
and family and catch up on what you’ve missed this past summer. Eat ice cream, stay up late, go to
movies, or buy something fun for yourself.
a month or so of no training, you can slowly start back into a very casual
routine of riding. By this I mean
you should try and ride your bike 1-2 hours a day, maybe 5 days a week. No structure at this point. You can ride as slow as you’d
like. And if your friends are
doing a big hard mountain bike ride on the weekend you can definitely go with
them. Again the goal is to have
fun and not feel like you’re "training” just yet. I would also start a strength training program, lifting 2-3
days a week. You can still throw
in hikes and trail runs 1-2 times a week if you’d like. Anything aerobic is good.
your second month of off-season activities it is now probably
November/December. This is the
time to get more serious about riding.
Depending on your upcoming race schedule you may want to start doing
some intensity mixed in with longer rides on the weekend. By January you should be back into the
hard core training mode and getting ready for the first races of the season.
off-season is one of the most important times of the year for cyclists. It gives us a chance to rest and
recover from the long season. It
is also when you will build the foundation that determines how successful
you’ll be next season. Most
importantly it reminds us of why we love to ride our bikes; because it’s fun!!
yourself, enjoy the beautiful fall weather, and rekindle your love and passion
for the sport.