Take a Break: Off Season Rest for Endurance Sports Athletes

Take a Break: Off Season Rest for Endurance Sports Athletes


Hey guys, how’s it going? I’m just out for
a little hike with my dog, Charlie. And, while I was at it I thought I would talk
briefly with you about some of my thoughts on taking a break during the off-season. It’s an important part of any athlete’s long-term progress
that they make sure that they get good training in, but they also get in plenty
of recovery so that they can keep progressing. And, during the winter months it’s a great time to take a step back from from all the racing and some of the
harder training that you might have been doing throughout most of the season. I
think it’s good to take into account what your goals are as you take a break
during the off season, and I think the two main goals that you’ll have are to be
mentally rested up so that when you start training again you’re mentally
prepared to you know focus on all your training and put a lot of effort into it.
Aside from the mental aspect things, it’s really pretty key to get enough physical
recovery so that you can go into your next block of training with plenty of
freshness and not have any residual fatigue from the previous season. If you look at professional cyclists or even professional runners they probably race
so much that they really need a very substantial physical break from their
training, and if they don’t get that they’ll definitely be setting themselves
up for a decline of performance from year to year if they don’t go into each
new season with a good degree of freshness. I think it’s good to take into
account the fact that a lot of amateur cyclists don’t really race that many
race days throughout the year. They might not need a ton of physical rest to be
physically capable of getting back into steady training, but I think it’s equally
if not more important for a lot of us to get a bit of a mental break. I think a lot of people can end up feeling pretty tired of training and
racing by the end of the year. If you go throughout the year, and you have to wake
up early to get in some training before work most days, or if you go out at night
with your lights on after work, or if you ride the trainer eventually that can
become pretty taxing mentally even if physically you’re able to handle it
quite well. I would just be very self aware of
what it is that you think that you need to do to get a sufficient break during the off-season. For some people just taking
two or three weeks to skip doing any hard workouts and
maybe stop doing extremely long rides, for a lot of people that’s plenty of
recovery. They’ll be ready to get back to it for some people you know we
might need a month or even five or six weeks of downtime where maybe we’re still training,
we’re just not doing hard workouts. Maybe some days we skip a
long ride on the weekend just to go for a coffee shop ride, and take it
pretty easy. It’s better to be more rested going into your foundational base-building season, than it is to get back to it too soon, and feel yourself getting
burnt out by December or January. Especially if you live on the East Coast
or someplace where the weather is really challenging and you’re gonna be training
indoors on the trainer a lot. Stay active, keep training, mix it up, and do some
cross training have fun doing any kind of exercise that you enjoy. And, keep in
mind what your long-term goals are. A lot of times as long as you have a sight on
whatever your target is you’ll find good motivation, and it’ll keep you anchored
so you kind of know what it is that you want to be focusing on from day to day.
And, as much as rest is important, I think it’s also good to take into account the
fact that our bodies are really made to get a lot of exercise and
throughout our history as a species we’ve always been very active, And, you
know right now, I’m out walking my dog. Dogs are great. They’re really hilarious,
and fun to be around. But it’s really striking, I mean, if they don’t
get exercise every day they go crazy, and people aren’t that different. I think
that we’re smart enough and self aware enough that we can put
our head down, and go to work, and be at a desk 9:00 to 5:00. But, it
really isn’t great. It’s not what our bodies thrive on, and we definitely get a
lot more out of our life if we’re active most every day. It doesn’t necessarily
have to be a hard training session, but even if you just hop on the trainer for
half an hour, or you do some core work, or go to the gym, just moving around and
being active and getting your blood flowing is really going to help improve
your mental performance at work, your emotional stability when you’re dealing
with stress. And, it’ll just make you feel better and keep your hormones in line,
and keep everything in your body working better. But again, definitely just pay a
lot of attention to how you’re feeling. Pay attention how much sleep you need.
Pay attention to your diet, and try to make sure that while you’re not training
is hard and maybe have a little more free time to prepare good food, you could
be a little more conscious about what types of food choices you’re making and
what kind of diet you want to have, and maybe try to create new habits that you
can carry forward into the coming season. Sometimes just establishing a couple of
new habits during the off season and cementing them in your routine… once
you go back into regular training those will continue on, and can make a big
positive impact in the long run. The same thing definitely goes for sleep.
It’s really key to get plenty of sleep, and to get it a regular hours and to have good
sleep hygiene where the quality of your sleep is very good, because it’s not
disrupted by light or noises or an environment that’s too warm. And, just remember with endurance sports all that
time that you invest during the off season,
and throughout the year, and even over several years, it always helps
make you better as long as you’re investing in the right kinds of workouts
that’ll progress you towards your goals and as long as you’re getting enough
recovery. It always adds up and it always takes you to the next level.
So definitely just keep that in mind make sure that you have a good plan
to make sure that you listen to your body. So, thanks for watching. I really hope that some of these thoughts were
useful to you, and I really hope that you’re super excited to get ready for the
coming season. If you’re taking a break right now, and
just starting to plan out for next year, enjoy the downtime and wait until you’re ready to
get back into regular training so that you’re super motivated and fresh for it
when it happens. But that’s it for today and I’ll see you the next time I post
one of these videos up and please go ahead and comment below or email me if
you have questions that you want me to answer or topics you would like me to
address. I really want to make sure that all my material is catered to what is
going to be most useful to you and stuff that you’re interested in. So, just let me know what that is, and
I’ll be sure to go over that for you. Have a great one
and I’ll see you later

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