How to maintain your fitness for cycling and enjoy the often wonderful season of Autumn

As the Irish cycling season is now approaching its end its time to think planning the transition between the end of this season and beginning of training for next season.

You have probably trained hard for months to get a good fitness level. Don’t let it disappear by taking a complete break for an extended period of time.

Review your season

Review and celebrate your achievements for this season. Learn any lessons that can be learned for next seasons performances.

Time line of fitness loss

You wont lose much fitness over the first week or two of reduced activity. In fact sometimes reduced activity can result in improved fitness.

However after a week of no activity fitness will begin to deteriorate.

With some thought and by introducing other sports and leisure activities, you can hold on to a lot of your general (non Bike Specific fitness).

This will allow you to begin training for next season at a higher level.

There are numerous things on and off the bike that you can do.

Take a break from cycling

Variety is the spice of life so if you have had a tough season with lots of racing training and other life demands. A break from cycling can be a good thing to help recover from the season and recharge the batteries.

That doesn’t mean do nothing for months and lose all your hard won fitness.

There are lots of things to do that you might not have been able to do during the season.

  • Walking in parks or trails
  • Hill walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Fitness classes
  • Pilates
  • Weight training

Park Runs

One of the more enjoyable things to do could be to work towards participating in some of the Park Runs series.There is most likely one near to you. Here’s what they do.

“parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and we encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; we welcome you all.”

I have seen them on Saturday mornings in Saint Annes Park in Dublin on Saturdays. They are usually well attended, they also seem to be very well organized and relaxed. Then after the run there’s time to socialise at the St Annes Park Saturday markets for coffee/tea and fresh cakes.

Park Run Cycling Club day

It could be a great day to plan for once a month even for cyclists and cycling clubs. A nice bit of exercise in a pleasant environment and a get together after the event.

Jogging/ running is an excellent exercise for cyclists with benefits for Aerobic and strength improvements. There will also be benefits in retaining your enthusiasm for the bike for later on when Winter kicks in and the bike miles need to be clocked up.

Progression and safety

As running is harder on the body than cycling, prepare very progressively with jogging for some weeks to allow tendons and ligaments to adapt to the higher loads on them.

Wear good shoes and use safe well surfaced routes with good lighting if jogging at night. Train in a group if possible.

Check out the Park Run sites below with a list of a run near you.

Park Run website can be found here http://www.parkrun.ie/

Irish venues can be found here   http://www.parkrun.ie/events/

Off road cycling

Cyclo Cross and mountain biking

There is now a very good cyclo cross scene developing in Ireland. See Off Road Calender

Paddy Doran level 3 cycling coach and tutor at www.peakendurancecoaching.   Contact

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Paddy Doran

Coach at Peak Endurance Coaching
I have been consistently the most successful coach in Irish Cycling in the last 30 years, training Olympians and Professional cyclists including a number of Ras Tailtean Winners and medalists at World & European levels. Cycling and coaching is my passion and I specialise in peaking for major events.
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