OFF SEASON AEROBIC TRAINING FOR CYCLING
By Sebastian Rebollo
Master in physical Activity
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Off season is the time period during the annual training cycle that we might be in our worst shape. All the excitement of the past season is over and then you mix in vacation and you start to feel like it’s been months since your training. But all of this is just a phase and will pass. Our plan will be to train gradually to start to feel better and stronger than the season before.
This part of the season is where our longest rides occur. We create our aerobic base with long slow rides over several hours, where not only is the body getting stronger, the mind will be getting stronger as well. The psychological focus during this kind of training is very high, as this type of training demands concentration and determination to finish. It is recommended to train in groups for safety reasons, and because we need someone who can maintain or even keep a higher rhythm, which will allow us to maintain a more beneficial training session.
The off season usually falls during Autumn or Winter on the calendar and may include snow and rain depending on your location. The weather could force us to be indoor during training, but there are still many activity options. We can use a trainer machine or rollers for hours if outside is off limits, as off-season training is very important for getting in competition shape for the upcoming season.
Using long slow rides and interval training is a good way to start. Interval training is going to help to improve the lactate threshold. This means we can maintain the intensity for a longer period of time. Alternating one day of long slow riding and one day of interval training for the first few weeks of the off season can be a good weekly program. Remember training on hills is beneficial, but you need to be careful. Long steep hills on two consecutive days can easily lead to overtraining.
As far as diet is concerned, meal plans high in carbs and protein can help you recover after these exhausting training sessions.
Disclaimer: No training program can or will protect you from injury. All athletic sports carry with them an element of danger. In the case of a fall, collision or other accident, you may be injured or killed, regardless of the type of athletic training you may have participated in. A training program itself could even result in an injury in certain situations. The only way to certainly avoid being injured while training or participating in a sporting activity, is to not participate in any sports or training activity.