I believe I heard from one of the TrainerRoad podcasts that it’s important to take a post-season break before starting up for the next season’s training. It makes sense that the body needs a chance to heal/recover, both physically and also mentally. However, I’m not sure what this break should look like…
A little background: I just finished my first year of structured training (weekly average of 200 to 350 TSS) and in the last 5 weeks, I have completed 2 GranFondos (Whistler and Levi’s) which has imposed a fair amount of training stress/fatigue. Levi’s GranFondo (103 miles) added around 500 TSS last weekend (will share my tips with this forum later). With my A and B “races” finished, I figure it’s a great time for a break before jumping into the Sweet-Spot base plan. Also, I have some constant muscle soreness in my glute / upper hamstring which I hope to resolve before the next training block.
For a post-season break, should I stay off the bike altogether (and put the extra time into stretching/yoga)? Or, is it beneficial to do 2 to 3 recovery rides a week (say 50% of FTP) with some stretching? How long should this post-season break be? Right now, I am thinking of 3 weeks. Can I still do an easier Saturday/Sunday endurance ride or am I better served with time off the bike? I am mindful of Coach @chad 's recent discussion on fitness loss (Ask a Cycling Coach 176) and his specific blog post on this topic.
I guess I am looking for more specific guidelines to maximize this downtime to help prepare my body for the next training block. It’s also possible that I am over-thinking it, but I tend to be analytical in nature .