There’s a saying in the cycling world, “the off season is where you can make the greatest gains” and at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we couldn’t agree more. The off season is a time when cyclist can work on weaknesses without having to worry about performance in upcoming group rides and races. However, there are ways to sabotage the gains.
According to the post, 10 Things Endurance Athletes Need to Stop Doing, cyclist should stop ignoring recovery, stop doing other athlete’s workouts, stop ignoring your diet and your weight and stop ignoring technology in your workouts. Another saboteur are headphones. The post, Seven Reasons to Take Off Your Headphones, questions if listening to music while training actually helps or hinders results. Unfortunately, knowing what not to do is only half the battle. The other half is knowing what to do.
Making the most of fall season training is about keeping it fresh, trying something new, and also, targeting some fitness goals. You can start to make gains by focusing on recovery after your workouts. When you think about it, training is all about stressing your body with hard workouts, and then letting your body adapt to that load. If you do not allow your body to recover and adapt to the training load you’ve imposed on it, you simply will not be able to train and stress your body as hard the next workout. While many riders understand that recovery between workouts is key to building fitness, recovery is also a commonly overlooked injury prevention tool. Recovery, defined as stretching, hydrating, and resting, are traditional tools used by athletes. Some opt for compression gear, as in socks or tights, which are designed to improve recovery and aid in overall sports performance. Late season is a great time to test out new products and evaluate how your body responds.
Building on that – don’t let the hard work you’ve gained this year fall by the wayside! As your training volume and intensity declines, it’s a good idea to begin paying attention to your nutrition and weight. As noted in our post, Top 5 Apps for Cyclists for Off-Season Fitness Gains, managing your training and nutrition in the off-season can be manageable and can mean the difference between winning and losing during the 2015 cycling season.
Other suggestions for late season gains include strength training and yoga. Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists Matters. Since you are only as strong as your weakest link, the stronger system you build as a whole, the more potential you have for cycling specific gains. And there’s a lot to be said for yoga. Cyclists need to focus on leg strength, which many poses in yoga target, but they also need to focus on flexibility and lower back strength. All key elements in extending the fitness gains you’ve made through the current year.
Finally, keep it fresh and fun. The Fall season can be a great opportunity to get new bike parts. During the season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the Fall, there’s more time for mental wanderings and fun! Check out our daily closeouts and overstock items to spark renewed interest in your cycling program.