Cycling is a demanding sport, both in physical and mental way, so after some time you will need a break. You flinch upon thinking about this and feel stress about sudden loss of fitness, but for majority of training cyclists advantages outweigh disadvantages. Deconditioning is really important because in fact you won’t get out of practice but you will come back probably much stronger. How to do it, then ?
It’s time when focus on the rest of body and mind is your priority. Giving up a bike for a few weeks may seem frightening, but it is reasonable. Imagine that you have plenty of time for your family or relaxing on the tropical beach in November. The aim of this rest is to prepare for higher peak of fitness than now, which will come during the next months.
Yearly breaks are as important as breaks between trainings. In both cases the reason is the same, but the scale definitely varies.
A break between seasons depends on calendar of cycling events. It’s going to be different for cross-country cyclist, time-racer or triathlon cyclist. However, there is a common rule that a break follows the most important event you attend and the time of the most intensive trainings.
If your season lasts for much of the year, you will need some extra breaks to make your body ready for other fitness peaks.
Your break should last at least a week. It depends how tough your season was. The more exhausted you are, the longer your break should be. If you focus only on mid-season races, probably you won’t need such long rest as someone who takes part in cross-country races in autumn. Surely, during your break, parameters will decrease too. You will regain fitness quickly due to freshness and right attitude.
Remember, too long break is better than too short one. If you don’t give yourself enough time, you won’t start preparations as you should – fully relaxed. If you take an extra week for relax, your body won’t be angry and there will be still a few months to do your best !
Many people ask this question. We are used to the bike and the trainings. Give yourself time to complete private projects, meet your friends. Of course, it is not prohibited to ride a bike, run or go to the swimming-pool. Remember only that you don’t do the training, so riding a bike to your favorite coffee shop or to the park with your children is a good idea. Deconditioning is a great moment to catch up.
If you don’t want to abandon sports topic completely, you can find many interesting books about training methods, pulse or power meter training systems and complementary sports, e.g. yoga, pilates or functional exercises for cyclists, available on the market.
It’s a great idea to get familiar with your equipment. Perhaps you have a friend working in a bicycle service ? Ask him for showing you how to do gear’s or brake’s adjustement or tube replacement. It can be useful !
Choose something that you enjoy. How about volleyball with friends, skating or football ? However, remember that particularly team sports can easily cause injuries, especially when you get carried away or competition will overrule good sense. Mind your aims ! If you know that particular activity can increase the risk of injury, perhaps it’s better to try something else.
It’s going to be a good time to get familiar with new things or work on good habits in disciplines that can suport us or even become a pernament part of your training during season, e.g. yoga, pilates or functional exercises. Consider individual training sessions, for example of strenght sports, when you know you are going to do this kind of activity in the early season. Work with no load, with proffessional coach and particular focus on technique can significantly improve the way you exercise. Better effectiveness that you probably can gain will allow you to achieve minor training aims in shorter time.
Regular training is fundamental. Injuries can easily undercut your enthusiasm. If you faced the injury during the season or you face biomechanic problems, deconditioning period is perfect time for additional diagnosis and cooperation with physiotherapist or doctor.
There is no sense in taking new preparation course when your body is not ready for it. Regeneration and gaining full disposition and perfect health is Your priority.Too long break will not ruin your career. Injuries can.