As October comes to a close, the leaves have turned, it’s dark well past the completion of the last Brimley hill repeat, and the winter cycling gear has been pulled out of storage to handle those crisp Autumn mornings on the bike. For many, the 2012 season is behind us and thoughts have turned towards 2013. Here are a few things to consider when starting the process of making 2013 your best season yet:
Brimley and the Bridle Path are both soaked with the sweat of success from this year’s MGCC rides. Take some time to celebrate your accomplishments from the current season – and what better way to start that celebration than by attending the MGCC’s End of Season party on November 8th? Come share your stories, celebrate your club mates’ successes and enjoy the camaraderie of a most excellent and accomplished team.
A long, hard season naturally creates fatigue on the body, both physical and mental. A full-stop break at the end of the season is very helpful in allowing the body to repair any of those little aches and pains that can develop over the course of the year. A break also helps clear any mental fatigue from a long season of early morning wake-ups. You want to continue to be motivated right through that long, dark winter – not fired up from the success of this year only to push straight through and be burnt out in mid-February. Consider taking a full week off at a minimum, or one week off for every 250 hours of training in the past year. Enjoy the extra minutes of sleep in the morning and fit in some non-cycling related activities with your support crew that got you through the season.
Feeling guilty about resting? Don’t! Carve out a piece of that rest time to reflect on the past year. Did you set goals at the start of the season? Did you achieve them? What are your limiters to becoming a better rider? A season debrief helps consolidate what we’ve learned from the current season and helps set the stage for the coming year.
After a well-deserved break, it’s time to get back at it. Where to begin? Consider writing down your goals for the 2013 season. Goals can be as big or small as you want to make them – this year our club had goals ranging from just wanting to be comfortable riding a bike outdoors all the way up to people wanting to win international races. Goals are great motivational tools, but the true value of goals comes from breaking down all the steps needed to achieve them, and taking stock of progress along the way. The off-season is a great time to assess where we started, what we’re hoping to accomplish on our cycling journeys, and where we currently stand.
Not sure what specific steps are needed for you to achieve your goals? We’re surrounded by a wealth of knowledge in this club – pick the brain of your more experienced club mates. Have you ever worked with a coach? Coaching professionals can help you identify your limiters, create a path towards success and are there to give you the nudge you need if you start to drift off your line. The off-season is a great time to set up a coaching relationship as you are able to craft a season plan together. If you’re thinking about working with a coach or want to learn more about what’s involved, have a chat with one of the club members who works with a coach, or sit down with Mike or Ed from Real Deal Performance to see what they can do for you.
Rested, recovered, and ready to rock with a plan for the coming year, hit that trainer hard!
Congratulations to everyone on a great season of riding! Looking forward to the 2013 MGCC already.
See you on the roads,