It might seem that fall is the least significant time of the year in the training cycle. Nothing more wrong
From the coach’s perspective, autumn is one of the most critical periods during the year. Its primary purpose is both to rest and to analyze what went well and what is wrong in the current season. After drawing conclusions and living a deep recovery, we can prepare much better mentally and physically for the new challenges.
Many athletes fear the transition period. They ask themselves: “What will happen if I loose my physical condition?”, “I cannot afford to rest now; I did not ride much during the season.” However, it is worth looking at the transition period from the perspective of the end of the 2018 season, not 2017.
We are, therefore, in October 2018. Looking back over the year, we see that winter and spring belonged to us – we did not do the transition period, and we were in good shape in March. We were able to keep up with our colleagues in local races, and we stood on the podium several times in April. In the Calpe training camp, nobody could keep up with us on the uphills.
In May, however, there was a slight collapse of physical condition. From June on, a sturdy slump of shape, discouragement, lack of motivation to ride and race. In my opinion, it is mainly the effect of the lack of (or an incorrect) transition period after the previous season
So, what should a transition period look like? There are several rules:
It is often the case that cyclists set aside the gym and deep muscle exercises during the racing season. While in the winter many of us pay attention to them, the enthusiasm of racing struggle and preparations precludes, in many cases, the inclusion of additional exercises.
Meanwhile, training with the weight of your own body gives you excellent results – not only on a bike but also in everyday life. It allows you to prevent injuries, strengthen tendons and ligaments (useful in other types of sports). In addition to strengthening the training effect of all other exercises thanks to a higher testosterone burst after a strength workout.
My recommendation is to take advantage of autumn to:
Transition period is for many of us not only o a period of loosening with training, but also of eating like a king.
Meanwhile, our body does not like a revolution. Instead of switching from a cycling diet to junk food combined with alcohol, in my opinion, it is better to preserve the balance. Give yourself a break a few times a month and go crazy (if you wish, of course). But for the rest of the time, focus on nutritional meals – in the end, what we consume now, will rebuild our body throughout the season. Wouldn’t it be better to have avocado, beef /fish, and nuts as the base of our recovery, rather than doughnuts, Nutella or pizza?
Additional advice is not to gain more than 5% of your body weight in this period. This will allow you to return quickly to the right weight after resuming workouts.
In addition to the diet, it is also worth giving your body a treat. A series of massages, spa treatments, and physiotherapy can work wonders for a tired body that traveled between 8 and 15 thousand kilometers during the season.
In recent months, you’ve been training hard; you’ve raced a lot. Your fitness (CTL) is usually at a high level before the transition period, but it also means that you have accumulated a lot of fatigue in your body during this time.
If we train a lot during the season, we leave for weekend racing; we have little time left for social life, especially with an intensive professional and family life. Now is the time when it is worth catching up and ensuring relationships that are important to us.