Most people’s seasons are coming to a close, or already have.  Hopefully you’ve taken some well deserved down time to rest, recover and get rejuvenated.  It’s a long season and by the end we’re mentally and physically tired.  So taking a couple weeks (or more) to just chill makes a world of difference in our outlook and attitude.  So if you haven’t taken some downtime (as I discussed in the last post), I highly recommend you do so.

For those of you who have backed off and are feeling ready, it’s time.  Time to rebuild the engine.  Make a commitment to yourself this off-season to address your shortcomings.

A couple things you should consider doing to build your foundation for success next season include:

  1.  Spending most or all your ride time this month (October) on endurance level.  Solid level 2.  Nothing above this level.  If you know your numbers (HR and/or power), you should spend nearly every training minute right in the middle.  If you don’t know your number, a GREAT way to estimate using HR is with the use of the “Maffetone Method.”  I won’t go into detail here (I’ll spend an entire post on it) but use the following formula to determine your optimal endurance HR.  There are 3 options, depending on your fitness level:
    1. Inexperienced riders:  180 minus your age minus 5 = the HR to train at for this endurance level month.  For example, if you’re 40 years old the formula is 180 – 40 – 5 = 135 beats per minute.
    2. Moderately trained riders:  180 minus your age = Endurance training HR.  The formula for this same 40 years old would be:  180 – 40 – 140 bpm
    3. Highly trained riders:  180 minus your age plus 5 beats = Endurance training HR.  For our 40 year old, the formula looks like this:  180 – 40 + 5 = 145 bpm.
  2. Mobility and strength.  I should probably separate these 2 into their own categories, but for today I’ll keep them together.
    1. After spending the season on our bikes, we’re tight.  Our legs are tight, our hips are tight, our upper bodies are likely tight and our thoracic mobility is likely very limited.  Every day, every single day we should be spending several minutes working on mobility drills.  And yoga is another option.
    2. This off season I’d like you to dedicate yourself to getting stronger.  Legs, for sure.  But core strength (our entire core, not just abs), shoulders and arms as well.  And our posterior chain especially (back side of our body).  Spend this first month with relatively low weight and high reps (12 – 15 reps) to get our bodies accustomed to the movement.  Make sure you use perfect technique, and accept nothing less.  There will be plenty of time for strength gains, so focus on technique and “grease the groove” so that when you add weight next month your form will remain solid.

So that’s it.  Let’s get to work and rebuild that engine of yours.  Remember that next season’s success is created in the off season, so if you’re ready, let’s get going!

Contact me with questions or if I can help you create your off season plan.  See you on the road or in the indoor studio!