Off-Season Handbook - Part 3: Top 10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Off-Season
Brian Wilson, MPT, USA Cycling Coach
I used to dread the Winter months in Kansas City – the bitter cold weather forced me to train indoors which did not allow for long bike rides or high-intensity runs. I now realize the importance of that time, however, and want to share that with you. Just as the body needs to be properly stressed with training in order to change for the better during the season, it requires rest and resistance training to develop sufficient base strength and efficiency in the off-season. Read the list below for a few ways you can avoid the off-season blues and improve next year’s performance:
- Take a transition period of 2-4 weeks consisting completely of light, unstructured training.
- Pick a passion from the past and revisit it – e.g. join a soccer league if you played in high school or college (go to www.govavi.com for adult social leagues in San Diego).
- Visit a Physical Therapist/Coach who can identify limitations in strength, flexibility and biomechanics that may lead to future injury.
- Follow a strength & conditioning program that will alleviate limitations and balance out your body allowing for stronger training next season.
- Focus on proper technique in all of the endurance disciplines to improve your efficiency.
- Invest in a stationary trainer for your bike and work on your single-leg drills to smooth out your pedal stroke on both sides.
- Change up your cadence and train 15 to 20 RPMs more or less than your average cadences during racing.
- Develop your core strength . . . and I’m not talking about crunches. (Read our Core Connection Article).
- Write ”Thank You’s” to all those who played a part in your previous season . . . I call this: Investments in next season’s fan bank!
- Hire a professional coach and plan ahead. Make this upcoming year exceptional by seeking out a coach who will help set goals that motivate you based on your talents!
Next Week: "Nutrition Periodization"