It’s that time of year again. The race season is winding down or over. That blue feeling may creep up on you and your motivation to get out the door may be wavering. It happens every year. You are not alone.
I finished the race season with a couple of cycling stage races then a big-city criterium. It’s sort of a relief when the cycling race season is over and you are still in one piece. I’ve been at this a long time so I’m always aware of the annual blue feeling of having no races for 6-7 months. I’m also looking at a long period where I will be able to cycle less and less until perhaps not at all outside as the New England weather turns lousy and dark. It can be a confusing time but one we must embrace. It’s a time to step back, assess your season, enjoy some cross training, and dream about next year.
I’ve learned to be prepared for the end of season blues. Once the last race is done I don’t just stop training. I keep going then gradually cut back. After all, I love to ride my bike so I find it fun to get out and ride. I also love to push myself and burn calories. But clearly my riding becomes less in volume and intensity. I like to add in some cross training, it’s fun and mentally refreshing. Hiking, walking, and running, are a few good choices. Find what you like and enjoy it.
While we must always maintain a balance of family, work, and training, these upcoming months can be a special time to include family in some cross training, especially, long walks. What better way to enjoy the great outdoors.
After working so long and hard to get in race shape it’s a shame to let it just disappear. You’ve got to play mind games to keep yourself motivated. It’s fun to race yourself or your buddies in training. Try some new loops, look around, and explore. I get back into the gym to work on core and overall strength. I also continue my stretching and foam roller (self massage) routine. The results of strength training and stretching over time are gratifying. It’s also insurance against injury.
So, bask in the glory of your 2013 season, enjoy the change of weather and embrace your family. Recharge your mental battery with cross training and dream about what you want to do next year. Having a plan and some goals to dream about will keep you motivated as we close out 2013 and jump into 2014.