Take some time to relax in the off-season. © Liz West via Flickr

Take some time to relax in the off-season. © Liz West via Flickr

by Jacob Fetty

’Cross is over.

Now what?

You have watched the World Championship replay 17 times on YouTube. You are lost. It feels like your partner has moved on and wants a six-month break.

Oh, the drama.

Here are three things to help you through the break-up:

See Other People
Over the previous several months you were exclusive with your ’cross relationship. Now, it is time to see other people. Knock the mud off of your mountain bike, clean the road grit off of your road bike and go have fun. None of us got on a bike and said, “Wow, this is cool, I want to do intervals.” Rather, we got on our bikes, felt like a 10-year old again and it all went from there. The sacrifice and training is a means to the end, the tools needed to shape your goals. However, your goals are behind you, for now, and it is time to have some fun. Cut loose.

Don’t Rush Into Anything
It is extremely tempting to look at the calendar and start jumping into races right away. You are not ready for this. You need to take some time to heal your wounds and decompress. ’Cross is an intense relationship and you need to allow yourself to take a deep breath. Taking time away from racing, and more importantly, limiting your travel will allow you to refocus more easily and will increase your motivation when it is time to start dating ‘cross again.

Set Goals
Once you have decompressed and gotten a new perspective by setting your ’cross bike aside, it is time to honestly evaluate what was good about ’cross season and what needs improved upon.  From here, you set your goals and start working backwards to where you are today. Often times we get so busy with road, track or mountain bike season that we don’t allow ourselves the proper build up to ’cross. Now is a great opportunity to chart out your season and give your ’cross build the proper respect it deserves.

Interject these simple methods into your limbo that is post ’cross season and spring race season, and I am certain you will find your groove while at the same time expanding your ability and having fun.