Coaching Corner: Don’t Dismiss the Off-Season
Even Jeremy Powers has down time. Shouldn’t you? © Cyclocross Magazine
by Jacob Fetty
’Cross season is over and you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands. Now is a splendid opportunity to do some things that you typically don’t have time to do. Additionally, it is the appropriate time to work in some different training disciplines and life hobbies.
Here are five things to consider working into your routine before you get rolling with cyclocross specific training in a few short months.
- Take a vacation. You don’t have to load up the mini-van and take the kids on a Griswald inspired road trip to Wally World to classify as a vacation. The idea is to totally decompress while letting your body refresh from a hectic season. Take a short weekend trip or a long trip, just leave your bike at home.
- Cross Train. Now is the time to incorporate some low impact weight bearing activities into your workout repertoire. Don’t go overboard, just be gentle with your body and have fun with it. Snow sports such as skiing, cross country skiing, and show shoeing are great and can be fun. And when it gets warm out, hiking and just playing outside are great options.
- Spend time balancing muscle weaknesses. We as cyclists get really efficient and strong in certain areas. This also leads us to be very imbalanced in other areas. Core work should be done throughout the year but most of us slack off during the season. During this part of the year establish a sustainable core work routine that you can carry into and through the season. You can also venture into the gym to do some lifting. If you do enter the realm of muscled people watching themselves in mirrors, focus on light lifting to balance yourself and strengthen weaknesses as opposed to maxing out the squat rack.
- Start a garden. You don’t need acres to start a garden. A window seal, patio or a little yard space is all you need. Grow those herbs you most like to cook with, plant a tomato plant in a 5-gallon bucket or even decorate your sidewalk with corn. You will be thrilled that you did. It will save you a few bucks at the store and will give you a hobby that is hard work. Likely, you will be riding a little less, and, being a hyper-motivated athlete, you will need something to do to fill your newly found free time.
- Be a kid again and ride your bike for fun. Don’t get back on your bike and leap right into interval work. Rather, get on your rig and start having fun. Work on driving skills and transition skills. Go do some longer rides with friends that your specific training and race schedule did not allow for.