The road season is coming to an end and a lot of us are finishing up the final races of the year. Unless you are moving right into cyclocross you should consider scheduling in a bike-free week after your final competition. This time of year you hear a lot of talk about being burnt out from the long season. While most recreational racers don’t have the training volume in to be truly burnt out physically, there is certainly the mental fatigue to recover from. Fitting in training between work and family commitments, travel to races, etc, all take their toll.
I recommend taking a solid week off the bike after your last race. That includes road, CX, MTB! Sit back and relax for a bit. Do some light cross-training such as yoga, core workouts, hiking, etc. Spend some extra time with the family and catch up with chores that you have been putting off. Watch your diet during this period. The tendency is to binge during a rest week. It’s easy to pack on the pounds if you eat a lot of junk food while not riding.
Once the rest week is done get back on the bike for at least a few days a week. Don’t take more than a week off. This is particularly important if you are a masters racer. Unfortunately, the older we get the faster we get out of shape and the longer it takes to get back in shape. Make your rides enjoyable-keep them unstructured for the next few weeks. Now is a great time to get out on the mountain bike if you have been concentrating on the road all year. Enjoy nice rides with friends and remember how much fun cycling is!