By John Cheetham
For most athletes, figuring out what to do when the autumn and winter rain, snow and darkness descend upon us can be challenging. The thought of doing some kind of “base building” ride hour after hour indoors crushes us with boredom and before we know it, laundry starts to get hung on the “ training bike”. The “off-season” slides into the “holiday season” and before we know it we're stuck in quite a rut. Taking a situation that can be perceived as a negative and viewing the silver lining of free time to try some different things and have fun is key! The off season for me is one of my favorite times of year to recharge with friends and family, check off projects, and plan for the upcoming season.
I enjoy working with athletes from many different climes from Canada to the Bahamas, and I don’t think a “one size fits all “ strategy is that effective or fun. For example, a cyclist living in Utah and the Rockies should be considering cross country and downhill skiing in the winter, while a rider living in a beach town in Southern California might try surfing or stand up paddleboarding, one of my personal favorites.
When searching for off-season activities, consider a two-pronged mental and physical approach. First, we can reap mental benefits from opening our minds to new challenges and keeping things fresh while de-stressing with activities not related to the athlete's chosen sport.
Second, we can achieve myriad physical benefits by using this off-season time to focus on improving common limiters that can hinder one’s performance. Common limiters such as a lack of flexibility, overall strength, balance, and an insufficient amount of aerobic fitness can be addressed and improved during the fall and winter months.
Everyone Needs Core Work