Ok, it's September and for most of us..the racing season is unfortunately OVER! Now, we have officially entered the "Transition Phase"...the period in our Training Plan where we evaluate our current race season and start preparing for the next. This is also a period where we give our bodies both a physical and mental break from the bike. But, it's NOT a complete do-nothing break..it's an "active recovery" break where we reduce the intensity of our training rides..and do "other stuff" like swimming, running, weight training, mtn. bike, cyclocross, etc. It's ok to continue to ride..but I would NOT race...ANYTHING. The experts also say that this is a period to increase the Volume. I always thought that was funny. i.e. how can I decrease the intensity and increase the volume of my training rides when I'm running out of light? And, the last thing I'm going to do is to sit my butt on an indoor trainer for 2.5 hrs. Don't laugh, I hear people on the message boards doing just this. I think that's insane.
Here is a blurb from an article on cyclingnews.com that I just read that pretty much sums up the Phase we're in:
"The purpose of the Transition phase is to allow your body to rejuvenate while not completely detraining so that you can begin next year's Annual Training Plan ready and able to build upon this season's success. In short, the purpose is to go faster when it matters (i.e., not during the off-season).
After nearly eleven months of training, chances are your body is tired down at the central nervous system level. Rather than stop training cold turkey after your final competition, I prefer to take a week or two to progressively reduce both work volume (i.e., frequency and duration) and intensity and to shift the emphasis to exercises other than your primary sport. For cyclists, this might include running, hiking, swimming, tennis or yoga. Because of the reduced volume, the transition phase is also an excellent time to spend some extra time with those who support you throughout the season.
The appropriate length of your Transition phase will depend upon many factors, including your age, experience level, degree of psychological burnout, timing for your first peak in the following season, etc. Generally, however, a transition should last three to five weeks. During this phase, you should train two to four times per week. Remember, these sessions should be low intensity and low volume. The purpose is active recovery, not becoming a nationally competitive athlete in another sport."
For more articles on the "Transition Phase" or "Off-season" Training, click here: http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=winter_training
Enjoy your time off! Remember, do NOT push it or race..it's the only time to really take it easy! Have some fun..spend some time with the family and/or friends. Remember them? The ONLY ones that REALLY care/love you that you blew off during the racing season. Coach Rob