Why you should take time off.
by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching
For most of us, 2020 has been a year long "off-season". Most races have been canceled, and personal and athletic goals have shifted. But, I would not call what most people did this year an "off-season". Some of you were training harder and with more quality than you ever have. Without races, we have had an 8 month training season.
These 8 months have offered time to become a more complete and better balanced athlete. Nagging injuries and strength imbalances have been addressed. Bucket list adventure rides have been checked off. Our aerobic engines are better than ever. Without races and peak race fitness, is it really necessary to take an "off-season"? Yes, it is.
Many of us have been training solidly since January (or before). Yes, rest weeks and time off the bike have been added into the schedule, but we've still been athletically "ON". Planning our days around our workouts, dialing our on and off the bike nutrition and hydration. Filling water bottles. Making sure to foam roll and stretch. Worrying about the weather and the wind and making sure we get enough (7-9hrs) sleep every night. Always thinking like an athlete, can be exhausting. Not to mention all the fatigue built up in the body after months and months (and months) of exercise. The last thing you want to do is start 2021 tired and burned out.
Give yourself permission to take 2-3 weeks off. And by "off", I mean OFF. No exercise. No bike riding. No running. No hiking. No strength training. Really rest. This rest, while sometimes the hardest part of the training year, is the most important. Rest the body. Rest the mind. Allow yourself to turn the athlete in you "OFF". Give yourself freedom to stay up late, eat ice cream, skip the foam rolling, and/or have another beer without worrying that it will negatively affect your training the next day.
Once these 2-3 weeks are over, you will be more fresh, ready, and motivated to train than ever. You'll be hungry for 2021 and ready to work hard to become better.
Looking for a training plan, but don't want full on coaching? We've got you covered. After you've taken your 2-3 weeks off, we suggest our Off Season Training Plan. From there, you'll be ready for our Build into the Race Season plan. This week only, all training plans are 50% off. Use the code "wattsup" at checkout.