How long is your "transition" period?
I don't mean to be exclusive but I'm somewhat talking to upper level racers in this thread, Cat 2-1-and Pros. Again I don't want to cut people off but there is something to be said of people who've made it to these ranks.
More specifically I'm dealing with Periodization.
I"m wondering how long do people take off after their last race? Friel says, "up to four weeks" for a solid transition. Other cyclists in the area have been pushing me to take some time off the bike at least two weeks. This seems like such a long time to do so.
If I wanted to stay off the bike for as little as possibly yet looking to gain all the benefits of a solid transition, what would a smart amount of time be?
I know this last question is totally subjective...Hence why I ask of how long others take off the bicycle.
I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure Friel recommends 6 weeks in "Cyclists Training Bible".
Originally Posted by bikingman
just another gosling
Personally, I don't take any time "off" in the Fall. I just reduce volume, weekday intensity, add in some weights and cross training, move the focus to technique, and start the ramp up for next year from a low level. The group rides are shorter now too, though no less intense. Some pros have been famous for taking time off in the fall and winter, and then getting their power back up in the spring with a little blood doping.
- Donít take too much time off from training: You need a break from structured training periodically, but many athletes take way too much time off. Itís better to take mini-breaks throughout the year Ė one week here, two weeks there Ė than to hang up your wheels or just noodling around for a month or more in the Fall.
- Donít overeat: Sounds simple, but most people donít do it. As your workload decreases, your caloric intake has to decrease as well. But youíre in the habit of eating like a high-workload athlete because youíve been doing it for months. If you back off your workload but continue eating like youíre training, youíll pack on pounds quick. Try cutting back on caloric intake before cutting back on workload; for a while youíll be riding a bit hungry perhaps, but at this time of year thatís not a bad thing.
- Donít skip hard efforts: Maybe youíre going to reduce the amount of structure in your training to get away from the regimen, but donít skimp on the intensity. Youíll lose power at VO2 max and lactate threshold rapidly if you do. You worked hard to gain that power, and it will take weeks and/or months to get back once itís gone. So keep doing the hard group rides, hitting hills at your max sustainable effort level, and throw in some short (1-2minute) all-out efforts on short hills.
- Reinforce good eating habits: Now is a great time to focus on your eating habits, remove the wasteful and needless calories, and increase your intake of vegetables (especially filling, high fiber ones). During the season when training load is really high, athletes get sloppy with their nutrition because they can get away with it. As CTS Coach Dean Golich likes to say, ďIf the fire is hot enough, anything will burn.Ē Now that the fire is not as hot, itís harder to justify dessert every night, or the second glass of wine, etc. Cut out the clutter in your diet, strip it back to the core nutrients you need for performance and health. You may find that instead of gaining, you actually lose a bit of weight between now and Thanksgiving.
If you don't feel like taking time off you probably don't need to. Pros take time off because they train 1000+ hrs/yr and they're tired (mentally and physically) of riding. If you don't feel like you need a break you probably aren't training/racing as much during the year.
Originally Posted by bikingman
I take October off. But "off" means no training plan and riding for fun, not no riding at all. I wind up doing a fair amount of riding. It's more of a mental break than a physical one.
awesome advice all! This is exactly what I've been thinking. People have been telling me that I need to think about some time off but I just don't feel as though I should. CFB's quote of Carmicheal seems to be in line which logic. esp the "don't skip hard efforts....you've worked hard to gain that effort and it will take weeks/month to gain it back." Just seems so logical to me...
come October I will transition into a longer base period with LOTS of riding before building in dec/jan/feb/march