Cycling off-season planning: when and how to start training again

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When the season ends, the level of load on a cyclist drops. It is important to relax before starting again, but it is also important to plan the cycling preseason.

The rest will depend on the individual cyclist. The load and intensity of the season will be the scale we will use to calculate the optimal rest.

Something to keep in mind during this period is to maintain our capabilities. If we include some resistance training during the rest we will avoid losing our aerobic capacity. Although this takes quite a long time to decrease (between 25 and 35 days), so do not be afraid to rest.

During the rest period it will be helpful to plan the off-season cycling season: setting goals and events in which we want to participate will give us extra motivation.

Back to work

Once we have rested, cycling off-season starts. It’s time to get back to work and training. At Bkool we have already talked about why the preseason is the secret to a good season. Let’s see when to start.

We’ll know we’re ready to get back into the swing of things when our bodies feel like pedaling again. If you haven’t, you may need more rest or your holiday may not have been really effective.

Returning to training sometimes means getting back on the bike with a few extra kilos. Getting rid of these kilos as soon as possible will be a relevant factor before starting to train fully.

Forming the base

When we start the preseason it is necessary to start building a base. Building strong pillars for the season is key to performing at our best. This phase of the preseason usually lasts 12-16 weeks and usually takes place in the winter period.

Establishing routine and high performance habits, appropriate to each level, will be fundamental for the body to properly assimilate the workouts and maintain consistency.

In the first few weeks we will focus on starting to increase the hours of training, either with cycling or cross training.

As we build a good base, it will be the ideal time to start introducing interval training, thus increasing the intensity moderately.

In the final phase of building this base we will include more volume hours and intervallic training focused on our goals.

Building period

Once this preparation phase is complete, the point of building comes. When we talk about building we refer to the period of time in which a test is specifically prepared.

This period takes place the 4-8 weeks before to the competition. Races often require very hard efforts. Therefore planning is very important in this process.

During these weeks we will work trying to make similar routes to those that we are going to find the day of the race. We will also try to give the body stimuli similar to the intensity of the race.

It is as necessary to have a good rest when we finish the season as it is to return to training in an adequate way. Keep these guidelines in mind when planning your cycling preseason.

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