While we welcome cooler temps and colorful foliage that fall cycling offers, the shorter days and fatigue of the cycling season can beckon cyclist to cut their rides short ñ or skip them all together.
Perhaps missing a day or two of riding doesnít seem like much but it does. According to the post, What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Riding, within a relatively short period of time, undesirable consequences result. As in, your metabolism stagnates. Your blood pressure rises. Your blood sugar surges. Fitness declines. And, inevitable wait gain surfaces. Not fun!
Fall is actually the best time to transition from peak cycling form to a relaxed one. Doing so doesnít include missing rides. It means shifting your mindset to embrace fall cycling while actually boosting your cycling performance for next year.
Focus on Fun!
The key to late season racing and bike events is really to have fun! Earlier in the season, the focus is on improving fitness or achieving goals. Now is the time to enjoy the gains of your hard work. With fitness levels high, late season bike events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and new cycling accessories. If experimentation isn;t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close outs, bike parts and components. Having a fun, relaxed attitude combined with a celebratory bike event is a great way to finish your season.
Focus on Fat! Fat bikes that is!
Instead of missing rides and potentially getting fat, just get a fat bike! Fat bikes are the hottest trend in the mountain biking world right now and not surprisingly now is the time to get on board with them. This year there is more competition in the fat bike market than ever which means lower price tags. In addition to more complete bikes, there is a huge selection of fat bike parts available which makes it easy to customize your ride with wheels, tires, and other components that fit your riding style.
Focus on Off-Bike Activities
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 is 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. During the season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the Fall, there is more time for mental wanderings and fun!