Last season was good – you pushed yourself further, you went longer, you went harder. This is the time to keep moving forward. Make the flow and freedom of the ride season your reward for the work you put in now.
Cross training can be the perfect solution to giving your large muscles a change and your mind some extra fun, all the while keeping up your base fitness. Focusing on cardio capacity as well as using other forms of aerobic exercise will yield pay off in the spring. The other area to spend some time training is your core. The standard three-point cycling position relies on a strong core for efficient movement but it doesn’t do anything to help build it. A strong core will help your stamina and overall efficiency by limiting the fatigue from using smaller muscles to stabilize.
Consider the off-season cycling alternatives
Working your universal base strength will lead to better riding and can help prevent injuries. Be efficient with your time and consult an expert. Find a trainer like Amanda De Jong from Better Bodies. As a cyclist herself and a spin instructor at Method Cycling Amanda can dial in to where you need to focus.
If you are a fellow Vancouverite, the mountains are just minutes away. Take advantage of the fantastic aerobic workout cross country skiing offers and build those lungs!
Road or Trail Running
Running is a more efficient way than cycling to build aerobic fitness. In fact, it will only take 30 minutes to to get the same benefit of an hour on the bike.
Hiking or Snowshoeing
The stability needed for snowshoeing or hiking works the core and hips more than cycling does, it can be a efficient way to round out your lower body strength.
Take advantage of yoga’s focus on core strength and flexibility – both essential to good cycling. If you are missing the mental meditation of road riding you might find it in yoga.
Swimming has the excellent aerobic workout of cycling but shifts the focus from your legs to arms, back, shoulders and core. Plus, who doesn’t love a post-workout hot tub?
What not to do in the off season
Don’t get ahead of yourself – It is fine you took a break but you can’t start your training in the middle. You have to start the season where you are. Don’t risk injury or frustration by hitting it too hard.
Don’t forget to plan – Set some goals and form a plan to meet them. Use your training time efficiently.
Don’t compare yourself – Don’t get caught up with what you think other athletes are doing or showing on social media. Getting caught in self-doubts will keep you from moving forward.
Don’t do it alone – If you thrive on your bike with a club or partner – find one for the off-season too. Contact a coach or trainer to help you work hard and make the most of your time, or simply use your contacts and call up a buddy.