Summer is a great time to travel. It’s exciting to travel to new locations, spend time with friends and family but for many cyclist, there’s that nagging thought lingering in the back of your mind which prevents you from fully embracing the vacation experience.
How much fitness do you lose when you stop training? It’s a scary thought. When you think about it, you’ve worked hard all year to increase fitness and maximize result on the bike. One option is to take your bike with you on vacation. However, that involves logistics, extra luggage, as well as, the challenge of coordinating your bike riding with non cycling family and friends activities.
Is there a way to take a vacation from your bike and not loose fitness?
For starters, a little time off from the bike might not be a bad thing. The post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan, suggest a few options for recalibrating your weekly training schedule. The big take away is the mindset. “Often remind yourself of the big picture. It’s easy to beat yourself up over missed training, but if you have been steady with training, give yourself a break. Gaining fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days and losing fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days. It takes months of steady training to gain good fitness. A few days missed or logging a fewer less hours than planned for a week is a small blip on the radar.”
With that in mind, there are some options to mitigate fitness loss and accelerate your re-entry to training upon return from vacation.
While on vacation, splurge a little with your food but be mindful too. Eat well. Vacation treats offer irresistible food temptations adding extra pounds to your waste lines. Moderate your reaching for the goodies and opt for nutritious snacks. Eating poorly during vacation can affect your mood and motivation towards training when you return. Mix a variety of non cycling exercise into your vacation. Instead of driving to a close by scenic spot, opt to walk instead. Look for hikes to do as a family. Enjoy other outdoor activities like disc golf or jogging. Discover all the different bike shops in the town you are visiting and make a goal to walk or run to explore the shop, discover the local cycling scene, and browse at bike parts.
When you return from vacation, don’t beat yourself up for missed training! You don’t want to jump right back in to your training and riding routine where you left off before vacation. Ease back into it and give yourself some slack. Great suggestions to do this are made in the post, Making up For Lost Training Time. Basically, be mindful of what you can control. You can control the intensity, duration, and consistencies of your workouts. Don’t go too hard to soon or riding too many miles right away. You can also control the elements surrounding your training, as in, your bike parts, bike functioning, and being well prepared nutritionally to get the best out of your workouts. Remember, while you may feel fresh, you did take some time off so be gentle with yourself. You can also focus your efforts on training with power and heart rate. All play a key role in bringing your training back to where you want it to be.
Enjoy vacation and time off from the bike. With a little planning you can experience all the reward of vacation with minimal fitness loss.