It’s that time of the year in may parts of the world where we road cyclists take a break or start to ramp up for off-season training. I have been training with structure for about 8 years and have learned quite a bit along the way to making the transition from training and racing to off-season training. Below are some of the many things I have learned that have helped me make a smooth transition.
Get the pain cave in order
This is actually my favorite part. I even wrote a post about setting up a trainer room here. I take a morning and clean up the area in my home where I train and make sure that all of my non bike equipment is functioning properly. Things like trainers, rollers, fans, TV, computers and other various items I like to have nearby all get checked and cleaned. The reason for this type of up keep is to ensure that when it’s time to train I know where everything is and that there is nothing wrong with it. There is nothing worse than having your routine disrupted because you cant find something or it’s not working properly.
Clean the bike
I am bit fastidious when it comes to my bikes. I like them CLEAN! Besides, a clean bike is a fast bike. Now is the time for the Spa Treatments. I will clean every inch of the bikes, wax the frame and fork while I am it. A good wax will help to repel sweat from the finish of your expensive bikes. I will even take several parts off the bike to ensure I have complete access to the frame. I remove all sensors and bolt on parts. Make sure you take measurements of your bike so you can put it all back together in the same positions otherwise you may need to get a new fit!
Tune the bike
After I have thoroughly cleaned the bike I will lube the drive train and repack bearings in a light grease. DO NOT be surprised if you find that you need to replace some parts on the bike after cleaning and tuning. Things like, cable housings, cables, bar tape, saddles, chains and pedals are usual culprits. Get to it quick before training starts or you stand the chance of damaging your bike or loose motivation to train due to a bike that doesn’t shift right.
I purchased a subscription to Netflix, I have a DVR, internet access and media server so there is no shortage of stuff to listen to or watch when riding long miles on the trainer. I think I need to replace my old 26″ CRT with a 42″ Flat Panel!!!
Get the head together
Getting ones head together maybe the toughest part of the off-season. We all need to step away from our chosen sport for a few weeks so we can start getting excited about it again. If this step gets skipped then the odds are Burnout will set in before spring! I have written several articles in the past that delve into sports psychology but this one is my favorite.
Plan the work
In the next 2 weeks I will be doing quite a bit of reflecting and writing. I will review my 2012 season data, write a seasonal summary, update my goals and objectives for 2013 and finally build out my 2013 calendar of events and races. Once all this is together I will create my Annual Training Plan. I will share my 2012 seasonal summary and my 2013 Goals and Objectives with my support team and tweak after I have spoke with each reviewer. If you would like to learn more about this process and get the forms I use for free read this article.
Do the work
I am already training some but it is pretty unstructured right now but eventually I have to do the big work of getting ready for my next season.
There are a myriad of other things that I take care of too things like ordering new bibs, sock, sports nutrition…
Look to our next article on some things you can do to make this your best off-season yet.
Until then have a great ride,