If you’re in your offseason or about to be, here’s your checklist of things you should do while training volume is low, the season is fresh in your mind, and you have a bit of time to reflect and prepare!
Take an off-season
We cannot stress this enough. It doesn’t have to be long, but there should be some kind of demarkation in your season—mentally, even if it’s not a physical necessity! If you didn’t race much or haven’t been racing much, this could just be a long weekend. If you’re really tired, take longer.
Catch up on life
Use this off-season time to do the rest of this list, but also to catch up on ‘life stuff.’ Clean the garage, finish painting the bedroom, deep clean the house, take your significant other on a date to somewhere you’d never go during a training phase (like a late night concert), that kind of thing.
Do your season recap
Do a season recap of what worked… and what didn’t. We talked about that in this week’s podcast episode if you need more direction, or check out this article on learning to control uncontrollables.
Clean out your closet
Go through your gear and get rid of things you didn’t use / don’t fit. We talk more about this here. If your bike needs repairs or a tune-up, now is the time… don’t wait til bike shops are super busy!
Get bloodwork done
Ask your doc to do a blood panel, or do your own with a company like Inside Tracker. We’re not sponsored by them right now, but our 20% discount code still works with Inside Tracker! This is also a good time to plan your annual physical and/or gynecologist appointment, dental cleanings, all that fun stuff.
Audit your eating
In the off season and the base phase, we tend to shift away from eating a lot of sport-specific foods/drink mixes during training unless there’s a specific goal there. You may also be at a point where dialing back on simple sugars/processed foods overall is a good idea, if you’re cutting a lot of volume or intensity for a bit. But on the flip side, if you’ve been really strict with a diet during the race season, you may want to loosen the reins a bit and enjoy some extra snacks! You can also clean out your pantry + make a basic shopping list to simplify your cooking + meal time!
Pick a couple of goals for next year
We like doing this well ahead of 1/1, since you’re more likely to be thinking clearly about next year when you’re closer to your last race season and not being blinded by all the big resolution hoopla. (If you’re a big fan of New Years like Molly is, set your athletic goals now and save your personal/professional/financial ones for Jan 1 for the rush.) We also find this helps you get through the holidays feeling motivated and excited, while still enjoying each family gathering, because you have a plan. We have tons of articles and podcasts on goal setting if you need help!
Make a plan for the coming season
This might look like just getting a pre-made base phase plan, a custom 3-month plan, considering coaching, or just booking a call to talk through a rough outline of what training could look like for you. We said it on the show this week, and we’ll say it again: This is the best time to get your plan/coach sorted out, since that way when Jan 1 rolls around, you already are connected on Training Peaks, you have your schedule and you’re ready to rock and roll.