Training & Nutrition - Tell me about rest periods and training burnout
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03-12-07, 06:11 PM
A really fast cyclist that I know once said that they took breaks in the winter to keep from "burning out." I have been forced off the bike by an injury. Are there benefits to taking breaks of certain periods? I've noticed that my metabolism (and appetite) has quickly shrunk over the past two weeks, and that I am able to sit and stare at the computer (at work) without feeling quite so ancy all of the time.
While this really aint the time to be taking a break, tell me about how this fits into people's plans.
03-12-07, 08:47 PM
I don't really take any time completely off. I do a much reduced bike training load in August and September because I hike a lot then. In October, I start building base for the next summer, so I keep the intensity down for a couple of months more. So mentally, I ease off for a couple of months at least.
I took one winter completely off once and it took me until the end of the next summer to get my fitness back. I wouldn't want to repeat that if I could help it.
03-13-07, 07:29 AM
I don't think there are any physical benefits of taking time off for any extended period of time....but mental benefits are another story. I wish I were a machine that could just force myself on a bike year round. But, I take about three or four months off of cycling every fall so I can have uninterrupted time with my beer and football games and it is time well spent as far as I am concerned (at least as long as I don't put on more than a few pounds). However, I consider it time well spent because I live in Northeast Ohio where it is essentially impossible to ride outside between november and march (I know, I know, bundle up and you can ride year round....screw that!). Without taking time off I face the prospect of indoor training for five months. That is a much scarrier thought than having to strip 6 pounds of extra weight off when I begin cycling again in december or january. But, if you live in an area where weather permits you to ride all year, make some cycling friends and vary your routine and I see no reason why you should not keep riding all year.
I know one thing I learned that has, on occasion, caused me to question taking any time off is the research on how little exercise it takes to maintian conditioning. It has been a long time since I read the studies but as I recall, you can sustain fitness with a couple of short, high intensity workouts, every week or ten days or so. I remember thinking that the research suggested I could maintain fitness with about an hour of good saddle time per week.
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