November marks the beginning of the cyclist’s New Year. Although dead leaves blow through the streets, morning frost covers the tarmac, and the sky is a drab and ominous grey, the off-season brings the cyclist a sense of renewal. Through the cold winter, we rejuvenate. The period not only gives us needed mental and physical rest, but it also allows us to reset objectives to start again with a clean slate. We can absorb the experiences of the last season, analyze them, learn from them, and then plan for what is to come.
A steady progression in fitness is equally important to the amateur as it is to the professional. A balanced, steady approach to training leads to solid aerobic base and success. Too much time off, and you’re playing catch-up; too little time off, and you’ll be tired before the summer races. It is good to be eager, but far too often, riders train harder in the winter months than they do before key races. Why? Read on.