I am in a weird training period where I don’t have any more races for the year, but I am not taking an off-season yet. Typically, people train for one last event, race, or goal of the year and then take a break before building up for the next season. Sometimes, the race calendar does not align perfectly, and you end up in my situation – training for an off-season.
The seasons are becoming longer for the women’s peloton, and the racing can start as early as the second week of January for riders who start their season in Australia. The timing and planning of when to begin each training period are planned according to the race calendar. While the performance team recommends the optimal timing for taking an off-season per individual, we as riders have some say in when we take it so it can line up with our holiday plans (not a lot to play with when professional cyclists usually only take two to three weeks completely off the bike).
After discussing with my trainer the optimal plan for me, we decided that I would continue training for an additional two weeks after my last race. This means I will train until the beginning of October and then take an off-season. My off-season will consist of two weeks completely off the bike and then two more weeks where I can decide what I want to do for exercise/movement. I can ride when I feel like it or continue with time off the bike and instead go for a hike, walk, or basically anything to get my body moving for a couple of hours each week (not structured in any way). After these four weeks, structured training will resume in the beginning of November.
This is the first year I didn’t end my season and start off-season directly after a race. It is a strange feeling going out training and not having a race to look forward to. I know some people love to train, but I love racing. I have had a long season, including its fair share of ups and downs. Even though I am physically capable of continuing to train and race at a high level, mentally, I am tired and am looking forward to the much-needed rest in the coming days after this short block of training.
On the positive side of the two weeks of training till off-season, I am back at my parent’s home in California and have been able to ride on my home roads and with my dad and brother! I have already started dreaming about the next season and the opportunities that await in 2024, which leaves me eager to enjoy my off-season and regain my energy for a busy next season.
Thanks for reading about what I am currently up to, and I hope you can get out for a ride yourself!
Follow what I am up to on my off-season and next period of training on Instagram @meganjastrab 🙂