It’s the end of the road season. So what now?November 23rd, 2019 by paulhart
It’s time for a break. The body needs a rest, but off season is mainly about the psychological benefits. A break from the mental pressure is vital. When we become more ambitious, we take training more seriously and look to perform well in big events, cycling can become another stress on top of things such as work and family.
Before you start your winter training program towards the 2020 season, ask yourself this question: “Do i have the motivation to train hard all winter for another long season? If the thought makes you tired, then its rest. You cannot start training until the answer is yes. The winter is where we make our biggest improvements with few racing interruptions and consistent training. To get the best from it you need to be mentally fresh and determined.
How you achieve mental freshness is very individual. I take two weeks completely off the bike. I leave it in the garage and do not even step foot in there. I then do a month of super relaxed unstructured off road riding and turbo. I love my cross bike and often head off road and get muddy.
Some of you may think the hardest thing about training is not training. If the prospect of not training gives you the jitters, then I’m sure an off season break will send you into meltdown! How you achieve mental freshness is up to you. One size certainly doesn’t fit all.
Walks, hikes, running, badminton, swimming, watching films, gardening. It’s a good opportunity to do things you maybe didn’t have time or energy for during the summer.
Some of you will already be thinking about next season and deciding on new goals. Be careful. Sure it’s important to look back, review your season and plan for next year, but I personally do that after my off season break. I prefer to switch off completely, because my objective is complete mental freshness.
The best piece of advice I can give anyone new to this concept, is the better you can rest and switch off during the off season, the more you increase the chances of a successful winter training and consequently a more successful next season.
So chill, leave the bike alone, go for walks, spend time with family. You will be increasing the chances of your best ever season.