First of all, I owe you all an apology. I’ve been offline, mainly due to work. Neglecting my writing. Fingers crossed, that’s all about to change, as I drive to rebuild the community that’s supported Espresso Cyclist over the coming months.
If you can all bare with my limited time, and hence at times terrible grammar and spelling, then I’ll do my very best to get back to regular writing.
In South East Asia we’ve just hit the off-season, right on time with the pro world tour. Fresh off the back of watching Sagan take a third UCI Road World Championship, the world of cycling turn to relaxation, rest and food. With no impending race weight in mind, those boys (and girls) can turn to the indulgences they’ve avoided for the first half of the year.
It’s also a time of reflection, as we consider what we achieved and what didn’t go according to plan. My season, for example, was riddled with excess work travel and entertainment, that made a consistent training schedule almost impossible. Almost every week I’d find myself in a foreign land praying that the hotel gym had a decent indoor bike. Of course, at times, I have the luxury of taking my bike with me but balancing that against the desire to get home to the kids becomes a challenge.
Races for 2018 have started to surface, starting with the UCI qualifier; Tour de Bintan on March 23rd to 25th, 2018. After it changed is categories in 2017, Bintan looks to attract big numbers as one of easier races to qualify for the UCI World Amateur Champions in Varese, Italy on October 1st.
But before you look to 2018, there is still time to enjoy yourself before getting back on the training plan.
First, if you plan to ride, make sure you’re having fun. Riding all year round, which is very possible in South East Asia can be draining on one’s motivation. So try to include rides that you enjoy, whether they are solo or in a group, be proactive for yourself to enjoy your rides. Even if that means ending with brunch or a beer.
Keep some fitness without being tied to the structured nature of the competition season. If the bike is your focus for the off-season, you need a structured approach. But if it’s not, you can use the bike as a way to drive overall fitness.
There is no need for specific race training in the off-season, keep the program simple. Complex intervals should be avoided.
For myself, I’ve headed back into Yoga, at Yoga Lab, with the goal of dropping a few excess kilograms while opening up my terrible flexibility, which has plagued me for years. I started with two sessions a week but quickly chose to squeeze in a third as I was enjoying the challenge. The instructors there are amazingly flexible and strong, which tends to motivate me to push myself harder. Let’s see where it gets me by the end of the year.
I’m hoping to do Tour of Bright in Melbourne, December 1st to 3rd. Which will require a lighter body and some serious climbing legs, as the Aussie summer kicks off racing for the 2017/18 season.
Anyway, if you’re keen to know what the Pros do in the off-season, GCN did us a favour and asked. Share in the comments below what you like to do in the off-season