Categories: Bicycle Tour Training
Staying Fit in the Off Seasonby Sarah Awe - Thursday, January 7, 2016
Feeling a bit frosty in your neck of the woods? Turn that snowman upside down with a different outlook this off season that will have you ready to get on the bike stronger and earlier than ever before. Let’s focus on all of the things you can accomplish with the time you would normally be cruising the streets on two (sometimes one or three?) wheels! For a single sport athlete, the off season can be the most productive time of the year. You can use this time to improve any weaknesses you may have identified while cycling over the summer like, mobility, strength, improve a new skill, nutrition and mindset.
FOCUS on mobility. Have you had any nagging injuries? Maybe your hip? Glute? Achilles? Low back? All of these body parts will benefit from some good TLC. Join a yoga class, find a stretching video or article with visual cues like this one Stretching Tips for Athletes . Commit to spending 15-20 minutes a day on mobility and you may see those nagging injuries disappear for good! Trust me, it is worth the time and energy.
FOCUS on strength. Did you find yourself on a long ride thinking, “I should strengthen my core” or “I should work on strengthening my hamstrings to improve my pulling”? Take this down time to fit in a strength routine two times per week. Try the following routine, 10-15 repetitions, 3 rounds:
- Single leg deadlift
- Reverse lunge
- Shoulder press
Rotation ** you can find all of these exercises in this directory.
FOCUS on a new skill. Choose a skill that will transfer well to cycling. Lots of literature indicates that running and cycling compliment each other. Check out this article. Additionally, taking on a new hobby can make you hungrier to get back on your bike once the weather gets nice again. You may even find that by becoming a more efficient runner, skier, rower, hiker will in turn make you a more efficient cyclist.
FOCUS on nutrition. Feel like you were lacking in energy last season? If so, you may have been deficient in nutrients. Now is the perfect time to take a good hard look at how you are fueling your body on a day to day basis. Record what you are taking in for one week, ask a nutritionist at the gym or someone with the qualifications to give you their thoughts. Find the holes and fill them! Nutrition and hydration are huge factors when exercising.
FOCUS on mindset. Have you noticed your inner dialogue lately? Is it mostly positive or negative? Maybe it is time to assess how you are treating yourself. You may be surprised that if you make a couple small changes in the way you talk to yourself, it may change how you talk to and treat others. A positive mindset can have an impact on your sport performance as well as other important aspects of your life. Spread the love and positivism!
There is always something to improve on so why not take the time now to do so? There is no better time than the present and why wait? Happy self-improvement, have fun and work hard and reward your efforts by joining us this spring to bicycle in Europe!