Fat & Slow in the Off Season

The end of the racing season also means, for many riders, time off the bike, a rest, time for recuperation, get back to some comforts, such as, in my case, having a cold beer with mates and enjoying a pizza.

But it also means that over a period of time, your fitness levels decline, potentially weight creeps back on.


Since the Singapore Nationals back in May, I’ve been taking my ‘off season’, and I’m just starting to try and get back into things now. But the baseline that I have to start again is actually quite a challenge. I’ve gone from 69 kilograms back up to a staggering 76kgs. I’ve just put on seven kilograms.

Also, my FTP has fallen from 287 watts down to an embarrassing, today, effort at 222 watts. It’s hard, psychologically, it’s hard to see your numbers fall after putting in so much effort over a long period of time and to get those numbers up high.

So now, the journey to restart the training and regain my fitness. In the next couple days, I’ll be jumping on my bike in Vietnam to do 450 kilometres, and hopefully, that’ll do a significant damage in reducing my body weight. But I still need to get the fitness levels up again, mainly my FTP. The power’s just not there anymore.

I felt this the other week during the Seletar Criterium. I was in the open race, and granted, I wasn’t warm. I was on a borrowed bike. So it was not ideal conditions, but I could see very, very quickly that my power was just not there to stick it with the faster guys. I ended up with a very tough battle behind the field just to finish the race.

I’m curious, in the off season, did everyone take a break?

Has their fitness fallen?

Now, are you already back training? What’s the plan? What’s the next goal they’re actually setting to look towards in your cycling careers? Are we going back racing, or are we looking at a Grand Fondo?

I’ll re-engage the goal from the beginning of the year, 68 kilograms and a 315 watt FTP. Both numbers currently seem distant. But the challenge should motivate me.

What’s everyone doing now that we’re sort of coming back to the start of training season again?

2 thoughts on “Fat & Slow in the Off Season

  1. I actually have 2 off-seasons throughout the year. Each lasts about 8 weeks roughly and my mileage drops from about 200-300km a week to sub 100km and my weight goes up about 3-4kg. It’s awesome as it gives the mind a break and also there’s a lot of fun in training to get back to form.

    Dec – Jan is off-season 1 & May-June is off season 2.

    My seasons would be periods where I join the first pack of our groups and mix it up with the fast packs at various group rides in SG along with the occasional private overseas rides. Off-seasons would be less than 2 rides per week, mixed up with swims and hikes. I don’t race anymore simply because it takes just too much to reach race-form and maintain it for months on end. Race-form would be 65-66kg and 300+ km a week.


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