Fall has arrived here in the north land, and this change in seasons generally means a change in attitude, outlook and training.

For many athletes, the race and event season is winding down.  It’s been a long season and by this time many riders are tired – both mentally and physically.  The toll is often heavy and many riders are more than ready for the season to end.  Training requires a huge commitment in time and energy, and races are accompanied by stress and anxiety, especially when travel is involved.

Bodies are tired, training isn’t as much fun as it was earlier in the season and it’s harder to get out as the weather becomes colder and more unpredictable.

If you have any of these feelings, don’t fret.  Understand that this is a typical phase of the training year and that it’s now time to move into the next phase.  And that phase is:  Ride for the fun of it!  Remove all stress and expectations from yourself and your riding.  Just ride.  Remove your heart rate monitor or your power meter.  Ride with your friends purely for the social aspect.

Some people call this the “Transition” phase of the training season.  And it’s appropriately named.  Regardless of the label you put on your training at this time of year, the end result is the same.  It should be a period of rejuvenation, of doing different things, of not feeling bound by a schedule and generally taking a very low-key approach to training.

This is a perfect time to cross train, to keep active but to keep your outlook fresh by engaging in different activities.  For example, running, hiking, stair climbing and rowing will keep you fit but will challenge different muscles.

The actual length of this transition period may be different for each person, based on several factors.  But one month is a good starting point.  The bottom line is that at the end of this transition period, hard off-season work will begin in earnest for next season.  So make sure you’re totally rested and refreshed before moving into any more heavy training.

So the bottom line goals for the next 4 weeks include:

  1. Reduced training volume
  2. Low intensity workouts
  3. Cross train
  4. Take time off the bike
  5. Enjoy the season!

Add your comments below, then GET OUT AND RIDE!!!  (Or cross train)