Question: I always seem to get motivated at the end of the season and hit peak fitness in November, after the season has ended. I can never carry it through Canadian winter to the season start in April. How do I maintain my intensity through the winter off-season? Thanks!
It involves mental focus, physical preparation, and rest.
Doing structured workouts each day with complicated intervals can be mentally draining. It is important to allow ourselves a period of unstructured training during the season.
Most professionals have a period of unstructured training after each peak fitness period during the season. The best way to implement periods of informal training is to set yourself a goal to achieve for the week and allow flexibility. Give yourself the goal of completing a specific duration of training for the week. Then, each day you can ride according to how you feel in regards your motivation for the weather. Please skip a session without feeling guilty during this period.
During the winter, you can afford to reduce your fitness and refresh mentally and physically. Having a proper off-season will improve your following season by allowing you to start the season with motivation and fitness.
Training with some intensity during the off-season is okay. However, aim to implement intensity without structure. This can be achieved by joining a hard group ride or competing in a race or competing in a race on Zwift. 1 session of intensity a week is sufficient. Try to include one day of unstructured intensity each week. This will put you in a good position to begin the season in February full of motivation and with a good level of fitness.
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