You just finished a great cycling season and now you're ready to bask in your accomplishments and enjoy some well-earned rest. Not so fast.
While rest and recovery are important, you'll also want to consider how to maintain your body weight when your cycling volume and intensity decrease. This will make getting into the spin of things next year that much easier and help you avoid the temptation to play catch-up, which can result in overtraining.
Here are seven tips to manage your weight and fitness during the offseason.
During the winter, you can and should reduce your cycling intensity, but try to ride four or five days a week after your season-ending recovery phase (2 to 3 weeks where you do relatively little riding, all of it at a very easy pace).
Most of these rides don't need to be long either. Just get out and spin for an hour or so. If you're in an area where it gets too cold to ride outdoors during the winter, ride on an indoor trainer or stationary bike for 45 to 60 minutes.
Think Long and High
As a general rule of thumb, try to do one long ride and one hilly ride each week. This will allow you to burn plenty of calories while also getting in some much-needed moderate-intensity riding.
Consider Cross Training
Incorporate a few alternative forms of exercise, especially if you're in a cold-weather locale. Not sure what to do? Try something new: Consider running, swimming, skating, cross-country skiing or aerobics classes.
Just remember to begin slowly and make sure you stretch properly. It's easy to overdo it when you try exercises or sports that you aren't used to.
Try Strength Training
This is a great time of year to start a full-body resistance-training program. Two 30-minute strength-training sessions per week will improve your health and fitness and make it easier to manage your weight. Make sure you learn how to perform the exercises properly before you begin. Do around 10 sets per session with 8 to 12 repetitions per set.