Cycling over the holidays – too little or too much?

Cycling over the holidays – too little or too much?

Is the holiday season a good time to pick up the volume of training? Or should it be meant as a time for rejuvenation and rest? On today's episode of RIDE with CoachParry, Devlin gives us what is ideal for your holiday training schedule.

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Transcription

 

BRAD
Welcome on to the next edition of RIDE. My name is Brad Brown. We've got Devlin Eden, our cycling coach with us once again. Dev, nice to touch base. And it's a sort of winding down this time of the year, but it's an important topic we chatting about today.

DEVLIN
Yeah, December holidays, is it a holiday or is it a training holiday?

 

Cycling over the holidays

 

BRAD
Yeah, exactly. Or is it just an opportunity to hang out on the dark side. But this time of year is tough. Obviously, it's been a long year, I think for everyone. We're all feeling the strain, we all need a bit of a break. What advice would you give to someone going into sort of Christmas and New Year's? Is it a case of all bets are off, feet are up, we're going to really just hang back and do nothing? Or is this an opportunity to build your base for 2019 and smash a new year of cycling? What advice would you give us?

DEVLIN
So Brad, I think firstly, it's going to be kind of goal dependent. So it also largely depends on what your goals and aspirations are from a racing point of view in the new year. So I know there are a couple of events that are quite early in January, towards the end of January as well. And then when we start looking at big events, things like the Cape Epic, the Argus Cycle Tour or the Cape Town Cycle tour, those are happening in and around March.

So if you have got goals that are relatively early in the year, then December for me is definitely not a dark side. There is room because most of us will hopefully have a little bit of time off from work, at least, there is room for a lot more rest and relaxation around that, which definitely helps the body. But I think for the athletes that are racing in the first couple of months of the new year, it's a great opportunity to actually get a lot more miles in, whether it is base or actually just a little bit more intensity here and there. And timing it where you don't have to be getting out crazy early, because you're trying to get to work straight away afterwards. So there's a lot more room for recovery and rest around it.

But a lot more people, and I see it from time to time as well a lot more, is we're fortunate enough to be able to take our bikes with us now when you do go on holiday. So a lot of people are travelling with their bikes, there's a lot of safe places to ride as well with mountain biking on the road in certain areas. So I do think if you are on holiday away from work, I think it's a great time to capitalize on volume of training. Again, keeping in mind where you are in your training structure, in your training programme, and what the goal is.

So I have had one or two clients in the past that feel well, great, we're going down on holiday, we'll take our bikes with us down to the coast and then they end up completely overtraining because now they've got so many days on the hand, and they're trying to do four hour, five hour rides every single day. And then they also forget to actually take a little bit of a break. So it doesn't mean if you have a programme, chuck the programme aside and let's not focus about it, still stick to the structures but usually your coach will also allow for more volume a little bit increased as the holiday progresses.

 

Be careful of overtraining

 

BRAD
Let me just jump in, you bring up a very important point of overtraining. And it's easy to fall into that. The first week of your holidays, you're smashing, like you say, 4-5 hours every single day, but you are risking doing some serious long term damage later on in your season. Because that stuff comes home to roost, not immediately, it's when you really want to be peaking, you find that you're really fatigued.

DEVLIN
Exactly. And if you do push that overtraining limit too far, it's something where if you fall into that, you struggle to actually get out of it, which, like you said, does come home to roost, and then it comes to a point where it could take a couple of weeks before you're actually fully recovered from that. And in that time, you've lost 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks worth of training, that's pretty vital to the next event that you are doing. So yeah, it is kind of a fine line that you need to operate with. But just err on the side of caution as well and stick to the structures that have been put in place for you.

 

Getting the balance right

 

BRAD
Yeah, absolutely. And Dev, as far as sort of getting the balance right, because this is also a tough one too. We want to tell people to go out and ride their bikes, but this time of year as well is a great time to be spending time with family that you don't ordinarily get to do. And you've got to get that balance right. You don't want to be on leave, family holiday, and basically just living on your bike and your families fending for themselves. You have to get that balance right, don't you?

DEVLIN
Yeah, correct. And again, I think that in itself is just good for the mind as well. So like I said, it's going to be dependent on what your goals are and how early it is. My suggestion would be to see if it could be worth that maybe between Christmas and New Year itself, you've got a lot more time off. So time off the bike just to really recoup, regenerate as well. And, again, if you don't have an early race in the year, time off the bike completely is also not necessarily a bad thing. So I get a lot of clients that have come off and their season has finished in the last couple of weeks. So they've put in a really long year's worth of training. And I want to give them a week, two weeks off the bike completely, and then they start to panic, they're like oh, we might lose our fitness. It's important to understand that there's also a periodization that's in plan for that sort of training and taking time off is actually not just physiologically and for your body but also just changes your mindset a little bit and makes you want get back on the bike again when it is time to do so.

BRAD
And speaking of bikes, it's a great time of the year to get bikes for gifts. So Dev, I'm sure you'd agree with me for anybody who wants to buy us bicycles, we're definitely open for it. I could do with a new mountain bike I don't know about you.

DEVLIN
Yeah, look it would be great. There's all the memes that go around saying there's no such thing as the right amount of bikes, it's always n+1 so you can never have enough bikes.

BRAD
I'm going to send this to my wife, Dev, I'm going to blame you.

DEVLIN
Just don't tell her what they cost.

BRAD
No, exactly. Dev, as always, great to catch up. Happy Holidays to you and we'll catch up again in a week from now.

DEVLIN
Thanks, Brad, same to you.

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