What’s your off season looking like?

What have you learned from previous off-seasons and how are you going to structure yours this year?

Looking for inspiration and fresh ideas

Trying to figure out TR. I just signed up tonight. We’ll see how it goes.

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Off season will hopefully include much more structured training than last year (as in, still LV, but actually sticking to the plan). My weekend rides will either focus on:

Mountain bike skills (as weather permits…)

Or on testing and refining cold weather/night riding equipment.

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Lots of base riding, going to the gym, slimming down.

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Really knocking things off/down and giving my body the time to recover.

I’ve had too many injuries this year and I think my body is telling me that enough is enough.

I’m going to do more walking and hiking.

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I mentally and physically tapped out around mid July after achieving my goals for the season. Took 1 week of rest and went back to the gym 3 days a week and a did the occasional ride with my family during 5 weeks off the bike.

While the break from structured training was nice, I regret taking the full 5 weeks of. I probably only needed 2-3 and more as a mental break from the trainer.

I’m 3 weeks into structured training now and happy so far. Instead of using plan builder this year (worked great) I am working through different 6 week blocks and won’t be doing a specialty phase this year. All in all, I should be ready race ready in April/May and targeting a race series in June

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Running…more running - you don’t need as much kit and it doesn’t take long to get ready…and you can do it in the dark. 10k race in Nov/Jan/Feb. 2 xTR SS rides and an outside 90min ride until Jan - then cut the running back and do a 6 week SS base until End of Feb…finish my running races…4 weeks threshold block…start TT…simples as the meerkats say…although that may just be a UK advert :laughing:

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I‘d check the infamous Dylan Johnson YT channel for that, since he has a lot of great videos on the topic.
At some point you‘ll want to take a proper off-season break (1-2 weeks of no riding, no straineous exercise).
After that you enter the base phase, which for me is tons of Z2 riding, with intensity coming from lifting weight primarily. That’s basically until early March, when I incorporate intervals more frequently, and reduce lifting sessions in quantity and volume.

This all is build around peaking in June. Two seasons ago I peaked in March, and had burned out by June. Not optimal really.
I use the off and base season as the time to recuperate, and building the matches to burn in the summer. It’s easy to burn a lot of matches too early in the season.

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I don’t really go for the whole step away from the bike, although I try to take a break from structure. The last couple of winters that has been more z, but actually tried an aimless zwift over the weekend, and really didn’t do it for me.

I’ll try and do some strength and mobility work, and maybe some running but seem to always fall back to the turbo. So I’ll probably do the couple of days “TrainNow” as discussed on the pod cast.

Still a few weeks left of my season though, albeit derailed by a week’s travel and a stubborn sinus issue as I get to the last!

I haven’t exercised in over 2 weeks now.
To avoid temptation, I got a new, larger tattoo on my left knee.
But what I find strange is that every night when I go to bed I feel my hamstrings the same way as after a hard workout, kind of sore, is that normal?

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After a hot summer, covid, unexpected surgery and vacation I was off the bike for most of July and August. The temps are finally easing so it’s base and gym time. When I travel for work I surf, windsurf and sup a lot for fun.

After an almost perfect summer season with no significant interruptions and very high volume I’m now enjoying my fitness and easing slowly into my off-season. So currently I’m kind of having a 3 week pre-off-season where I’m still training structured, but don’t do it quite so religiously compared to the actual season.

At the beginning of October I’m going to take two weeks completely off the bike. First week I don’t do any sports at all, second I’m doing fun stuff like swimming, badminton.

Then I’m going to give the traditional base program a try. In addition I will add one or two runs per week and two gym sessions. Last year I did a Sweetspot Base and Build , but when spring arrived I was already quite tired. I’ll try to avoid that this year.

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I’ve been doing a lot of pace partner rides with Maria, Coco, Yumi and Jacques. Maria and Coco are square in zone 2 for me. Yumi and Jacques are getting upper zone 2/tempo. Also did a nice 85 mile ride last friday at zone 2. I haven’t done a trainer road workout in a few weeks. I will be looking to work on some time to exhaustion soon so will be starting with 85% of the TR FTP and working my way up the duration and intensity one day per week.

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LIke the last few years, the weekends will be full of snowboarding, which makes it challenging to get much trainer time in. So I’m gunning for 2-3 workouts a week, focusing on VO2 max and sweet spot, with one or two gym sessions as well, to support both activities.
The challenge for me is to maintain or improve on my end of summer weight, and not plump up like a bear going into hibernation. I have also historically taken much of January off, whether by design or just through lack of bike motivation, so I’m planning more consistency and intention there.

  • Polarized plan during the week on the trainer, low volume
  • Ongoing growth mindset around my diet to lose 20lbs. Goal is 160’s by February.
  • Minimal strength training 2 days a week with compound lifts and core work
  • Riding outside one day on the weekend, weather permitting
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Just finished my last real event of the year, the rest of my outdoor riding and off season will look like this:

From now until November 1: Lots of unstructured riding. MTBing, gravel explorations, coffee rides with friends, etc. Will probably still ride 8 hrs a week. I will also be doing dialed healths kettlebell workouts twice a week.

November 1: take a week or two off.

November 7th/14th - April 1: Keep the two kettlebell workouts and add in one heavy lifting session each week. Weekdays I will get in 3 hours of z2/tempo/sweetspot. Saturdays I will do one 3 hour trainer ride. While there is snow on the ground, I will likely be snowboarding one night a week and on Sundays.

In the winter I always take Friday off from training and experiment in the kitchen. I love to cook/eat so this allows me to eat really delicious food without gaining a bunch of winter weight. Actually, I generally lose weight in the winter. If anyone is interested, “The Food Lab” is a really good cookbook to learn the fundamentals. The author also has a lot of good articles on the web.

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Most likely the FasCat 10-Week Weight Training program. The riding during the plan is purely Z2 with some spirited group rides toward the end, but I’d substitute a TR tempo workout with similar TSS to simulate.

Once that is done I’ll use PB to build out my season and will likely substitute Pol Base instead of SSB I.

My debate right now is when to start off season. Last year I started 1 Nov and that worked well, but made WWDD a little rough. I’ve built a plan to keep training to the full version of Disaster on 17 Dec but really am not interested in another eight weeks of getting my ass kicked.

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For the last couple of years I’ve always done the classic high-volume zone 2 base training from Nov-Jan. The last year lactate meter controlled. Could move LT1 far to the right but can’t really say this has translated into improved race performance (4-12h races). However, as I get older I find it more and more difficult to do the intense stuff. Something that I’ve always found difficult as a diesel.

This winter will reflect my slow transition away from racing. I will only schedule two or so bigger events next year. As motivation. And that’s it. Plenty of mountain running as long as conditions alow. Snow is coming soon. Slowly building towards a few ultrarunning events I have planned for “retirement” from cycling. you have to make you quads downhill bombproof. And running down technical trails is actuall fun. Even the kids love it.

So just some unstructured volume until Jan and then I will see. Should probably do some intensity.

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I’ve got a weeks walking holiday coming up then a four day cycling tour staying in pubs in October. In between just out doing the kind of riding I don’t do when training. You know the fun rides where you go hard when you feel like it, easy when you don’t on routes not suited to structured training.

Conscious I let the fitness dip over winter so you start low again coming into spring. Thus aim this year to maintain fitness whilst having unstructured fun. Then build on this years gains as we head into another year.

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Ive one more event and I might sign up for one more but I can’t see much changing in my pattern. Maybe as it gets a bit darker the midweek ride might drop in intensity or I’ll drop it. Outdoors rides for me are just about socialising and living on my own I think Id go crazy if I didn’t have a training session to keep me occupied.

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