Taking time off during the season can be tough for athletes. Here are a few reminders why you should and why you should enjoy it.
As an athlete you train so hard all throughout the year. For cyclists a season can go 11 months straight from when you start training to through the racing season to your month off in the offseason. Without proper rest and recovery you won't be able to properly train.
After 6 months of solid training and racing, our bodies and our minds are tired. This mid season break usually comes in June (depending on race goals) and lasts in duration from 5-14 days. A good “recipe” for a mid season break is 4-5 days off the bike (no hiking or running either), 1 free day to ride as much as you want to, then 2 more days off the bike. By the end of this mid season break, the athlete is fresh, motivated, and most importantly, excited to ride their bike.
I recently had my mid-season break, most afternoons I was taking naps. Twice I fell asleep for 2 hours in the middle of the day. Just goes to show that I really needed that break. My body was ready for some serious rest. Now I am ready to begin training again and hit the second half of the season strong!
It's important to really take the time to enjoy your mid season break. Do the things you might skip during really hard training! Make sure you are getting a proper mental break. Put the bike and training out of your mind while you spend time catching up on other parts of life!
Train hard, rest hard.