Training Secrets: How to Use the Fall Transition Phase for Fun and Fitness Gains 

October 17, 2019

While some cyclists are continuing to race cyclocross, many have ended their cycling season.  The epic rides have been replaced with shorter rides. Weekday rides may be exercised on the trainer or supplemented with gym workouts or yoga. The transition from all the summer fun to the end of season experience may have you asking yourself, what to do now?

As we wrote about in our post, Fall isn’t the end of a season, it’s the beginning of a new one, fall is actually the best time to transition from peak cycling form to a relaxed one.  Doing so doesn’t include missing rides.  It means shifting your mindset to embrace fall cycling while actually boosting your cycling performance for next year.  

The relaxed mindset includes maintaining your training regimen, but with a relaxed focus. One that includes fun and experimentation. 

Focus on Fun!
The key to late-season riding, 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 riding and events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and try out new cycling accessories. Consider checking out that new wheelset or a dropper post on your mountain bike. You have nothing to lose by experimenting this late in the season. And, if you like the bike parts you experiment with, you have the winter months to dial in your cycling position and bike fit.  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 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. Better yet, you can keep motivation high and up your giggle factor by participating in fat bike races through the winter months. 

Focus on Night Riding!
Riding at night can bring a fresh sense of adventure to your riding and fall is the time to do it. It’s not too cold and the weather is more cooperative. The trick is to have a There are benefits to night riding too. Riding in the dark heightens your senses, improves your skills and builds awareness.  Switching up the training regime can freshen your attitude, spark some fun, and maintain fitness while transitioning to the winter season. As luck would have it, we have lights on sale right now! LED, rechargeable, and affordable. Check out BikeParts.com for our wide variety of light options.  Or, stop by the shop and see which ones are best for your bike setup and type of riding.

The transition from summer riding to fall riding can actually be fun, interesting, and offer some unique opportunities that the spring and summer months don’t.  With fitness levels high and cooperative weather conditions, the fall season is a great time for experimentation.  Ride new routes! Explore different trials before winter weather arrives!  Test new bike parts.  During the racing and cycling season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the fall, there’s more time for mental wanderings and fun! Use this time to spark renewed interest in your cycling program and begin dreaming of your 2020 cycling goals.  


How to Make the Most of Late Season Races

August 28, 2014
Sarah Shull racing in the 2013 Winter Park Gravity Series.  Trail: Cruel and Unusual.

Sarah Shull racing in the 2013 Winter Park Gravity Series. Trail: Cruel and Unusual.

At the beginning of the race season, enthusiasm and energy is high!  About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most racers. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation waning.  As the racing season seems to be getting longer and longer, what are the ways to maintain motivation and also – capture added gains towards next year’s goals?

Fortunately, there a variety of options at your disposal!  The post, How to Use a Late Season Race for Motivation, suggest selecting late season races that are fun and also promote fitness.  By keeping it fresh, trying something new, and also, targeting some fitness goals, it can inspire you to lay down some of your best training in your season.

What about adding some skill training?  During peak training periods, bike skills and technique is often overlooked.  Why not consider improving your skills?  The video: Five key skills to improve your bike handling offers great visuals and the post, Body Position on the MTB, dials in where you need to be on the bike to ride your best.  Experimenting late season avoids the risk of injury during peak races but also can offer a new challenge – like learning how to do a track stand.

Finally, show some bike love!  That’s right! Your bike has been training and racing with you all season long! Give your bike a break – replace worn out bike parts.  Maybe even experiment with different or new cycling accessories. Try out a new wheelset or reward yourself with new bike parts and components.  After all, your bike has helped you reach your goals all season long.

Ultimately, late season races should be fun. If you love what you are doing and are having fun with it, then you are setting yourself up for more good stuff to come in the following season!