Where I live the weather changed this week, and rather abruptly. Prior to this week we were riding in above average temperatures, and logging bonus miles for the year. Even the most burnt out road racers that I know were willing to smash more miles because of the great weather. And then it got cold and wet. And now many riders are ready to pull the plug and shut it down.
But we are not quite at most rider’s Off Season. We are in time that I call the Transitional Season. The Transitional Season is wedged between the Race Season and the Off Season. And the Transitional Season is the perfect time of the year to do 2 things:
- Get out and enjoy some riding that you have avoided, or have not been able to do, all season long. Meet up with a friend that you have not seen in a while and roll some mies. Join a group ride that is new to you. Put some air in the mountain bike tires and take it into the woods. Line up some Strava KOM’s and give them a shot.
- Make sure to stimulate each of your energy systems at least once a week. Meaning do a 10 sec sprint, a 30 sec effort, a 1:00 effort, a 3:00 effort, a 10:00 effort and a long endurance type ride. These efforts do not have to be structured into your workout, and they do not have to be exact. But make sure you visit each place at some point. You have spent all season long building up the capacity of these systems and encourage them to stay robust by activating them occasionally.
The Off Season will be here soon enough. During that period you should work in a total shut down of your training to let your mind and body recover. But before we get there make the effort to stimulate all of your energy systems weekly. Doing so will enable you to hold onto some of the gains you worked so hard to achieve. And then when you transition from Off Season into your first build you will be further ahead than if you shut it down earlier.