For a lot of us (cyclists and triathletes), our outdoor riding/racing season started in late February or early March. If you're one of them...it's HALF TIME...time to take a break from the bike. Time to re-charge the batteries, evaluate the first half of the outdoor season and prepare yourself for the second half...from July to October/November.
Yes, I know a lot of you that are in good form (and fitness) are worried/concerned that they're going to be giving up some fitness. I too used to be scared that I'd lose EVERYTHING I worked so hard to achieve. Well, for those of us that have been hampered with leg, back, knee, etc. injuries (mid-season) we know this is NOT true. We don't lose our fitness as quickly as we think/thought we do. And, in most ALL cases we come back STRONGER after our injuries.
So, how much of a break should we take...and what should we do during the break? Depends. But, in most cases I would say anything from 5-10 days off would suffice. And, what to do? Anything but ride the bike. This is the time to do some OTHER things you'd like: hike, kayak, fish, beach volleyball, golf, surf, whatever. Just be safe...and ACTIVE! (Don't be doing anything stupid like playing touch football in flip-flops or playing softball and sliding into 2nd base w/ shorts on either.) And, this is NOT a week long excuse to sit on your a$$, drink beer, watch TV, get fat do NOTHING vacation. You've got to be ACTIVE and eat/drink sensibly. This is ALSO a good time to spend some dedicated time with your spouse, girlfriend (or both- just kidding), kids, friends, etc. too. (Spouse? Girlfriend? Remember them? Those people you ignore during the training/racing season when you're training hard?)
Not only do you need a physical break from the bike, you need a mental one as well.
Lastly, this is also a good time to evaluate the first half of your season. Did you accomplish the goals you wanted to? If not, why not? Are you training too hard? Not hard enough? What can you do the 2nd half of the season to accomplish your goals and make the season a success? What are your strengths/weaknesses? Remember to train your weaknesses and race your strengths.
Now recharge those batteries and good luck on the second half of the season....and finish strong! Power On! Coach Rob