It’s the time of year when many of us struggle with maintaining consistent training routines due to family commitments and foul weather. Unless you’re a monk who relishes indoor training, it gets to all of us at one time or another.
It used to drive me crazy until I learned to embrace the offseason. This doesn’t mean getting fat on cookies and pie. Embracing the offseason is about taking advantage of the competitive downtime to learn and do activities we otherwise would not mak time for while training for an upcoming event.
In the last month I’ve participated in my first yoga class, gotten back on my skis after a couple years absence and skied up a perfectly good downhill ski slope in the dark of night, resumed gym strength and conditioning work, and have incorporated a bit of running and hiking. My next objective is to learn to skate ski. It’s time this gets crossed off my ‘to do’ list.
I haven’t given up cycling completely. I’m still riding when my schedule and the weather cooperate, but I'm not trying to stick to a set routine. I’m even doing the occasional cross race, although my focus has changed from finishing position to enjoying the competition.
Unless you’re in the midst of your race season or will be racing in the near future, try something different to inject a new challenge into your routine. And by all means, keep things fun. Forcing yourself to stick with your normal training now, and stressing about getting it done, is a recipe for burnout come spring and summer.