Everybody needs an off season. Regardless of whether you are a first time Gran Fondo rider, half marathon runner, triathlete, or even slow pitch enthusiast you will definitely benefit from planning an off season into your yearly routine. What do I mean by off season?
An off season doesn't really mean not exercising at all. It is simply a period of time where you change your training/exercise focus to something a little different. It is the time when you start to focus on going to the gym (and seeing your personal trainer) and doing some different activities. If you have just spent the past few months training for a bike or run race, or playing multiple games of slow pitch your body is in need of a bit of a change. A proper strength training and flexibility/mobility training program will go a long way in allowing you to enjoy your pursuits for years to come.
Incorporating a structured off season has many benefits. It allows your to recover and repair your body from the repetitive nature of training for an event or race. It helps alleviate 'burn-out' from only focusing on one thing. Having a bit of time away will actually help you improve your performance for next season.
Here is what my off season will look like. You can follow something similar for running, triathlon, slow pitch, or golf to name a few.
- My typical training week for road cycling was 5-6 rides per week ranging from a total of 8 -15 hours of riding per week.
- Off season duration: 8 weeks
- 5-7 hours of cycling, mostly commuting, but adding in some mountain biking or indoor spinning when the weather is terrible
- 2 x per week weight training; focusing on flexibility and mobility as well as balancing out my body again. Upper and lower body strength training with a focus on whole body movements and proper core stabilization.
- This is the time of year where I focus on improving my functional movement screen score (FMS). Ask any of our trainers about this if you are interested.
- Trail running and hiking as a fun outdoor exercise alternative
- Curling - more for the beers and social then actual 'excercise'...
All weekend warrior and amateur athletes should think about giving themselves an off season every year. Don't make the mistake of not exercising at all, just change things up. Work on your strength and flexibility and there is no better way to do that then to come see one of us at GWA.