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Making the Most of Your Season Transition

Once your season's main events have concluded, it's a good idea to spend a few weeks in a transition period before you begin preparation for the next season. The goal of the transition period is to significantly decrease training load to ensure adequate whole body and mind recovery from the months and months of dedicated training. 

Some amount of short-term detraining is to be expected during this time, but to limit the amount of fitness loss, for most people it's a good idea to limit this off season to three or four weeks maximum. There are certainly cases where elite athletes who have had very demanding training and racing schedules might take four full weeks off before resuming preparation for an upcoming season, and low-volume athletes, older athletes, and athletes who have had many interruptions to training over the past season may only need one or two weeks of transition. 

The transition period can be split into two phases:

  1. Phase 1: Seven to fourteen days of mostly-easy endurance with descending durations and one or two days that include one interval (such as a Strava KQOM) or some intensity (like a local group ride)

  2. Phase 2: Three to seven days of rest off the bike

How to spend your transition period:

  1. Stay moving! You may not be training, but after a few days completely off the bike, you can ride for fun. Lower-intensity rides are best; join some friends for a coffee ride or hit some fun trails. 

  2. You don't have to ride. If your mind and body are saying no, do some other aerobic exercise like walking, hiking, swimming, or running.

  3. Get in the gym. Shifting your focus to strength training at this time can be a welcome change for the body, can help rebalance from the previous season, and can help set you up for a strong upcoming season.

  4. Evaluate your nutrient intake. Use a calculator and assessment (like this one) to ensure you're eating enough nutrients and energy to recover from the previous season and maintain or change body weight/composition, as well as making sure you're adjusting intake based on reduced energy expenditure. 

  5. Be social. Training solo for a whole year can be isolating. Seek out like-minded people to join for hikes, runs, rides, and gym buddies, and consider joining a training community like ours when resuming your foundation training for next year!


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