Throughout my time of being a cyclist and as a coach, I have always had a conversation about whether an end of season break is needed and what is it going to do to fitness levels. I want to explain why a break at the end of a busy season will benefit you for the next season, which always approaches quickly. How you want to spend your off season and how long you want to take for an off season is personal, but I recommend enjoying it.


Rest or reduce?

Do you find that the thought of not training causes you to worry about losing all the hard work you have previously out in? Believe me, you’re not the only one. The thought of taking some time away from the sport you love, and dedicate so much time to is hard, but also very healthy. Coming away from structured plans and intense training sessions helps you become hungry for more progress. We often overeat our training.

Coming away from the sport doesn’t always have to mean you have to stop altogether, you may find rather than waking up at 5am to jump on the trainer every morning, you may get up at 6am and have a short 30minute run or even treat yourself to sleep in. You may choose to avoid the 6-hour ride you do most weekends and swap it with a 2-hour ride followed by a coffee at the end. There are many ways to reduce the load and intensity and still get your “fix”. Reducing the time training during the off season can give you a chance to try something new, spend some more quality time with family or tick of the list of chores that has growing all season.


Reset your mind

The off-season might be a time that you want to indulge and eat some slightly less healthy food (within reason) and maybe think about ditching your power meter, don’t be completely guided by power figures, mentally reset from the stats.

Take this opportunity to plan your season so you know your goals and targets before you start the first phase of your new training schedule. Right now, is all about getting ready as you move into next year’s early training blocks. You want to finish the off-season fresh and ready for your next challenges.


Reset your body

An off season is the perfect opportunity to highlight and address any pains you have with your body or equipment or positional changes with your bike. If you have suffered with a pain throughout the season which you have kept brushing under the matt because you don’t want to stop, seek help to ensure that this doesn’t came back to haunt you next season. Looking at your riding position from a reputable bike fit specialist can help reduce injury whilst improve your comfort and efficiency guaranteeing you are getting the best out of yourself. Maybe you're thinking of trying a different component such as chainring sizes or new wheels for example.


What else can you do during your break?

Instead of heading straight into training for the next season, maybe try some of the following:

  1. Do something you don’t normally do
  2. Have your bike position checked
  3. Address any pains or niggles you have with your body
  4. Address your nutrition and diet for the new season
  5. Plan next season race/event calendar


To recap, this off-season, try something different, put plans in place, and reset your mind and body.

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