Resting Your Way To Fitness

When developing riders want to improve, naturally the thing they focus on is their training. Usually they take the "more is better" approach, piling on more hours, miles, and intensity. To a point, those are the basic ingredients for getting stronger; you train hard, you get better. While it may be somewhat true, it's only half the story.


Treading Water

It's going to happen to all of us at some point in year. Things are going well, you're on top of your form and riding strongly, and then it starts: scratchy throat, stuffy nose, itchy eyes-- that's it, you're sick! Many riders make the mistake of overtraining (or underresting) to get themselves vulnerable in the first place, and then don't give themselves enough time to fully recover from fear of losing fitness. Both approaches are recipes for an early end to your season.


Vacation Time

It never fails. After a winter of logging long miles and a spring of racing into top shape, summer rolls around and the bottom drops out. With the first half of the season done and many target races come and gone, July is notorious for being many riders' worst month of the year. A summer stage race like the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic is a great carrot in the early season, but can turn into concrete shoes once it's over. It feels like you haven't trained in ages, the heat's making you lethargic, and there's just no motivation to get out the door and ride.

Stage Race Recovery

Depending on where you live, this is the time of season where the summer binge on racing begins. If you're out west, you've already had your big stage races like Redlands and Sea Otter. The Southwest recently finished up the Tour of the Gila, and for the New Englanders we've got the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, and later in the year the Tour of Vermont. Each region of the US has that one big stage race that local riders anchor their season around.


Intense Rest

Whether you did a fall base period or a full cyclo-cross season, if you live in a cold climate January and February are the most difficult months to train. If it's not already something they focus on, I encourage my clients to take advantage of the cyclo-cross season as a way to maintain fitness through the New Year before they're forced off their bikes or indoors because of weather. Another way to utilize this time period between the end of the road or mountain bike season and beginning of winter is to try to do a fall build-up period.