Length Of Off Season?

What are peoples length of off seasons they take here? I ask because I’m entering first first after structured training.

I’m due in for surgery in 2 days (varicose veins…). I’ll be off the bike completely for a week, probably no intensity to speak of for 2-3 weeks. Also…I think I reached my limit for the season and voluntarily shut things down a week ago. I’m totally ready for a break.

Is 3-4 weeks a reasonable time off the bike? Should I expect big fitness losses? Lastly…would there be any benefit to working in a few easy recovery/endurance rides if possible?

I took three weeks entirely off the bike and lost about 15 watts off my FTP, most of which has come back fairly quickly after starting training again

Did lose all my high end fitness, but that was as expected and not a concern for me

How long of a break you need is really a personal thing and is likely much more mental than physical at the level most of us are training

Fair enough. Yea physically I feel much more fresh already. I just really dont have any interest in higher intensity work as of yet. I tried doing carson yesterday…just to try and accumulate a bit of fatigue and train into my surgery…but through in the towel after 20 minutes. Felt great…just really didnt ‘want’ to do any sweet spot work.

Maybe I’ll do pettit or something tomorrow, take another full week off after surgery, then start traditional base (or just 45% recovery rides depending on what the doc tells me) if i’m feeling frisky and focus on dropping a few pounds.

The 15 watts is encouraging. I’d be mentally totally fine with that. And I have tons of time to worry about higher end fitness later in the year

Officially I only took a couple of weeks off, but I was treading water a few weeks before that. I planned longer to be honest, but my head was ready and energised and ready to go. I’m not sure I do enough to physically need a set off period, for me it’s the mental re-fresh. I probably have them a couple of times a year after my A events tbh.

1 month off, starting back today with a series of power tests for later objectivity.

You’ve started your off season because you felt ready for a break, just start training again when you feel ready for it too. :slightly_smiling_face:

Most of us are not pros, our income doesn’t depend on a fixed racing program, so just take as long as you feel you need. Obviously if you’re recovering from injury, that sets a length too.


My “off-season” started the day after my last race of the season, Sept 8 and ends Nov 25.

For me, a 55-year-old active masters road racer, “off-season” means varying my activities, no structure, and no schedule to follow. The mental break is very important to me. However, I’m still spending a decent amount of time with my aerobic activities, as much as I do during the racing season, but eliminate much of the higher intensity stuff. I’ll have about 8 days completely void of any aerobic activity starting with next week’s vacation dive trip.

Once I return from vacation, my 2020 season starts (SSB MV1 & 2, Short power build MV, then Criterium specialty MV). My first non-training races begin in April so I won’t be fully completing the criterium specialty but will be do training races and other outside training that helps to sharpen the fitness the criterium plan targets.

There are two aspects of the off season - the part where you don’t train at all and the part where you do stuff aimed at positioning yourself to do better in the coming season.

2-3 weeks totally off is completely normal for part 1 plus you have part 2 going on here too - getting some elective surgery out of the way. You’re fine, Now through in several weeks of a mix of off the bike strength and conditioning along with some riding and you’ll have a totally pro off season!

The bible, aka Joe Friel, suggest this:

Just asked about end of season: After last race take a ~week off. It’s ok to take more days off. The next 2-3 weeks do short (relative to the athlete), unstructured workouts in zones 1 and 2. No anaerobic. Decide every morning if you’ll even workout that day. Days off ok.

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Well good news!

Surgery went off without a hitch…though it was creepy. Some of the bad parts it felt like the doc was putting her foot on my leg and trying to pull a vein out with both hands. The laser portion was a breeze though. If theres significant improvement I will likely try to have thr other leg done before the end of 2019.

The good news - doc said I can get on the bike to noodle around (i translate that as recovery rides) after a day or two. Only possible danger is loosening a couple sutures. Then after a week I should be good to go with reasonable (no racing) efforts after a week. So this fits perfectly with my plan of cutting weight with a bit of traditional base work to start my season.

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Yes, I think I am going to try and work in some other things over the off season/weight cutting time in addition to just riding traditional base for a couple months. Stretching, core work ( which might take the form of yoga a couple times a week. We have yoga in breweries here…which seems like a perfect introduction lol), and maybe make another attempt at sorting out my IT band issues to try running again at some point.

I’m starting to get excited already about getting on the bike for non brutal workouts already after only a week off.