In the northern hemisphere, the 2015 road racing season is coming to an end. A lot of racers start to think about the off-season and look forward to taking a break from training and taking time off the bike. Most do not want to think about racing or doing structured workouts. While taking a break is important, the off-season is actually a very important time or part of the year. It’s not a time to let things slide.
The goal of the off-season is to build upon all the hard work you did over the previous year. Here’s how:
1. Take a proper break off the bike.
Your body and mind need time to recover from racing, training and all the stress related to it. After two to three weeks off the bike, you will feel fresh, motivated and excited to get back on the bike and work hard. Your coach can help you identify how long of a break you’ll need, and what off-the bike activity can do.
2. Meet with your coach and make a plan.
Meet with your coach and make a plan for the off season, structure it through the winter months to make sure you are working on your weaknesses, getting stronger, building up fitness, improving skills, etc. Doing a good job in the winter months to prepare for the next season is the key to success. If you only think about getting back into structured training in January, you’ll be falling behind. In order to have success, you need to have a year- round plan and not one for only a few months of the year.
3. Coaching in the off-season
You can’t cram great fitness in 3-4 months. A long term plan will pay off and help to reach your goals. Getting stronger simply takes time, there is no shortcut. An important part of long-term planning is to factor in all the other things in your life, such as work, family, hobbies, weather, etc.
It’s important to work with someone that understands you, your lifestyle, and who will guide you. Working with a coach will make you better, and you’ll need him/her not just during the race season. Your coach has to get familiar with your routine, strengths, weaknesses, how much recovery you need and how much of a training load you can handle.
The best you can do now is to keep working with your coach over the off-season and into next season.
Your coach can help you out with ideas how to make you stronger and really work on things over the winter that you probably wouldn’t do on your own. The new race season will be even better because you and your coach can build upon the previous season. There is no new beginning because you and your coach know each other and understand each other.
PRO TIP: If your current coaching situation didn’t work out, or you don’t yet have a coach, now is the time to get started.
ALP Cycles Coaching is a Boulder-based coaching company with three female coaches at the helm: Alison Powers, Jennifer Sharp and Patricia Schwager.
Each coach brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. Road racing, track, endurance mountain biking, time trialling, making the leap to living and racing in Europe – they’ve got you covered. Find out more about Alison Powers and her Alp Cycles coaching company at here.