Now that the road season is coming to a close, I feel that it is apropos for this week’s workout to be anything but a workout.
With Facebook, Strava, Twitter and all the social media networks out there, we get a constant barrage of “epic” ride updates from our friends, nemeses, and ‘friendemies.’ It’s easy to forget about the lesser publicized form of training: the recovery.
For every quality workout, there needs to be quality recovery in order to create a quality athlete.
If you’ve been training and racing for a while, putting in a recovery day here and there is a no-brainer. But let’s expand further; what about consecutive recovery days? Recovery weeks? A couple of years ago in mid-Fall, I was riding with a Junior racer interested in the University of Delaware. On the ride, he mentioned that his coach makes him take off 6 weeks from training at the end of every season. Six weeks! He said that his coach felt like this was an adequate amount of time to avoid overuse injuries that can be so damaging to young athletes.
If I spent that much time not on the bike I would definitely go (more) insane, but I think taking a few weeks off at the end of the season is a smart move, especially based on what my body is telling me. A little knee discomfort here, a twinge of pain there, these are signs that my body is tired of the strain and needs a full recovery. So the doctor’s orders are two weeks off the bike.
Maybe some people can just keep it going year round, but taking significant time off at the end of the season or even during can work wonders for achieving a complete recovery and even getting your mind back on track.
How much time do you normally take off at the end of a season? Or do you just jump into the next sport (i.e. cyclocross)?