Off-Season Training, Nutrition and Recovery

October is a quiet month for most cyclists in Europe. Unless you ride 6 days races on the velodromes or ride cycle cross in Belgium, there are no cycling races in the rest of 2008.

Thus, October is the month where most riders decrease their overall training amount to a minimum to recover after a long season.

It is often said that the three basic elements for a cyclist are: Training, nutrition and recovery. In October the recovery should have the primary focus, because your body needs rest.

  1. Training

    Depending on your fitness level and ambitions, your training amount should be decreased to 50% or less than normal.

    Try some of the bike disciplines that you are not used to. If road cycling is your primary discipline, then go for a ride on a mountain bike or visit an indoor velodrome. There is a great potential for learning skills from these sports and you are guaranteed some enjoyable rides.

    But remember to invite the established mountain bikers to hit the roads with you when they have taught you a lesson or two off road.

  2. Nutrition

    Don’t focus too much on what you eat and how much you eat. October is when you have the chance to do what normal people do all year around, but don’t overdo it. Eat a burger and have a beer with your friends. One month should not make you really heavy, but please don’t look like Jan Ullrich when we reach November…

  3. Recovery

    Don’t underestimate the value of a decreased training amount and a period with less focus on target zones, threshold watts and body weight.

    It clears your head and recovers your muscles. Regarding to the overload principle, training less in periods is an important part of getting stronger.

Over to the readers: What is your primary focus in October?

4 comments… add one
  • I’m not done yet, I have one big ride for 2008 still, . I might do one or two other rides in December and I’ll continue to train. There’s no downtime for winter here in Austin, TX so I’ll take advantage of that. I will be following a periodization cycle so I’ll make sure I do get an adequate amount of recovery.

  • Well, you’re lucky 😉

    It’s always esier to maintain motivation when there are races to look forward to. Periodization is the key to success.

  • October, even part of November, is the month when you can exit from the long training routine. Hiking with the friends at weekends, 3-4h mountain bike trips to discover the new trails and so on. Autumn is a beautiful time and is best time to free your mind. That is very important – training is not only physical stress, mental side is very important and have influence to our body more than we can imagine.

  • Yogi Link

    I am just getting into Training mode for a February, 2009 One-day Classic out here in India. Its a tough 150 km, steep hill race. And there is no way to rest when you got only 3 months for the top race. No time for me to rest, eh =)..

    BTW, whats “periodization cycle”?

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