How to Perfectly Wrap up Your Cycling Season in Two Easy Steps

Wow, August is over already!? This summer has flown by and hopefully you’ve made the most of it. It’s been an incredible summer for CTS Athletes. Throughout the summer I’ve tried to call out and recognize the accomplishments of many athletes, amateur and elite, but in reality, I’ve only scratched the surface. I wish all of you could be in the office on Monday mornings to hear all the great news that comes in from weekend races and events!

I want to encourage you to go out of this season with a BANG! You have a tremendous amount of fitness right now. You’re lean. You’re strong. You probably have greater power numbers and can hold faster paces than you could a few weeks ago or a few months ago. It’s time to leverage that fitness, have some fun with it, and set yourself up for an awesome 2017.

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How to Wrap up a Great Season

At the end of August, a lot of athletes start to think about wrapping up their summer seasons. Many of you have already completed your major goal for the season, or it’s coming up in the next few weeks, and you’re left to wonder what to do next.

Put Fitness in the Bank

I look at September through November as a great time to put fitness in the bank. Over the next 8 weeks, the weather will start to change, but it will still be warm and sunny. Use this time to pack in the miles; you’re making deposits into a bank of fitness you’ll be able to withdraw from during the cold and dark winter that’s swiftly approaching.

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If you let your fitness erode out from under you now, you’ll have nothing to sustain you through the winter and you’ll emerge next spring back where you were last February. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like working for a full season only to lose everything I worked for and start over again. Especially for older athletes and anyone training like a time-crunched athlete, you can’t expect to perform better in 2017 if before the end of 2016 you lose the majority of the fitness you currently have.

In some ways, we’re all like the bear I rode by earlier this week on my way up Cheyenne Canon. He was sitting there gorging himself on berries because he knows winter is coming and it’s time to stock up on calories. If he doesn’t, he won’t have the energy to survive hibernation. In your case, it’s time to stock up on training miles and hours, or you risk being weak as a cub by the time the first spring tulips pop out of the ground.

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Attend a Fall Mileage Camp or Put on Your Own

For myself and the athletes I coach, I’m a big fan of fall training camps. That’s why I’ve encouraged my Tucson, Santa Ynez, and Brevard training centers to host camps in September through November. These camps are different than our Spring Training Camps and our Climbing Camps. They are still instructional, but the focus is on bigger miles and more sustained hours on the bike.

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Do they work? You bet. Last year one of the athletes at the Santa Ynez Fall Mileage Camp had already gained 30 watts at lactate threshold during the season. He got a great training stimulus from the camp, stayed on top of that momentum through the fall, and by the middle of the 2016 season, he was 40 watts above his highest 2015 lactate threshold power. Training is all about building upon what you’ve already gained, so don’t let time and malaise start dismantling the towering fitness you’ve built this year!

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