Off season, Building block plans and Taking a break- What do Sufferlandrians do?

Ahoy!

Looking for advise and experience from fellow Sufferlandrians!

I’ve just come off 2x 12 week structured plans and been suffering for some time now… but here I’m not looking so much for advise for me, but more your own experience of your own situation- if that’s ok!

Also… I’m not wanting to get into a whole base miles vs intensity debate @Coach.Mac.C wrote this article a few years back… makes sense to me Why you don’t need to do base training
But I am looking to understand what people do in their 'off 'season, and realise even that phrase can have negative connotations!

  1. Do you take a 1,2,3,4 weak break ? 2 for me- as much a mental switch off as physical
    2**. Do you follow one of the training plans or not?** I tend to freestyle it until Tour of Sufferlandria plan… but am considering using one of the new building block training plans Building block plans for 6-8 weeks come the end of September
  2. Anyone any experience yet of the building block training plans?
  3. Is there anything different you do in your ‘off season’? I try to focus in on nutrition and non cycling stuff than can get a little neglected in peak of the summer- you know like work, family, friends… :grin:
    All opinions welcome
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Might be worth looking at this thread :+1:t2:

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I do strength work & am doing the yoga ‘core’ plan. I’m also working on swim technique a lot.

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I was just thinking about the same thing. I have FF coming up this weekend. Planning on doing strength and yoga, but want to do some cycling, not sure if to do a build plan or jump on a 12 week plan. One of the deciding factors will be, do we have dates for the 2021 TOS yet?

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I did 2*12 week training plan with a couple of volcano climbing plans thrown in.It started to grind me down, it was time to take a break. It is so refreshing to have a few weeks of unstructured riding, head out to a general area, do a loop, which you make up as you go along, maybe cafe stop, and head home, no staring at power outputs or cadence targets, Do this for too long though, and you will get slower and you come back at a lower level. Good opportunity to target weakness a few times a week, target strength and yoga , relax and enjoy

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@Alistair_Brown thanks for pointing that one out. I did try and do a search on topics but didn’t see that one- looks to be v similar question/ topic area- sorry for the duplication. I particulaly liked the @Coach.Jeff.H suggestion “Would you benefit or find value in a longer (10-12 week) structured plan for the off-season that focuses on recovery and strength and mobility with just enough “hard” stuff in there to keep you on point?” in short YES!
@alchurch your approach looks absolutely spot on… that will be my plan for early October so thank you!

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What do you think about the timing of the ToS? I like to do it but didn’t this year because of preparation for an A race this year (& rescheduled for next) which isn’t just cycling. I’d quite like it moved to the end of the season or a multi sport version introduced. Or maybe a flexible one: it’d be a great thing for during lockdown.

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My approach this summer (since the whole year is now an off season for me) has been to sign up for a 12 week plan (Hilly GF with yoga and strength), do the yoga and strength as proscribed, but ride outside with my morning group during the week and with my other group on Saturdays, taking Sundays off. For me this year is about keeping mentally fit, recovering from small but chronic injuries, and staying connected. Sometimes my outside rides are hard, and sometimes we chat more than suffer. These rides remind me why I love the bike though, and they will get me through to when events start happening again. Once in a while, if it is raining, I’ll actually do what the plan calls for (don’t tell GvA I said that though)

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Hey @Sir.Jeff.Kerr,
Well played. This is an odd year to say the least and I believe that the number one priority that we should be focused on is mental and physical health. For most of us our racing and events have been eliminated. This makes sticking to a plan that was meant to get us to an event is hard to follow. And that is fine, if you are one of the folks that like to be “told” what to do and still want to have the fitness that comes with the highly structured training plan then by all means, follow it. But if you are finding hard to stick to the plan an are being pulled to do some longer less structured riding or exploring of roads less traveled, NOW is the time. With that said I recommend that you keep up with the strength and yoga that a plan offers even if the rides change. The other thing to keep in mind if you go “off-plan” is to take into account the recovery weeks. This is something that is often overlooked when left to our own devices. It is just as important to take recovery time when we are not following a plan as it is when we are. Even if there are less high intensity workouts.

So, I say let it roll and enjoy the freedom and use this as fuel for your soul!

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Hey, @Davidos, as far as the “off-season” and taking rest between plans goes it is highly dependent upon your overall type of riding and goals. For instance are you training for several events during a season (ie, racing or multiple gf’s or triathlons) or are you training for one big event? Generally speaking I would not recommend doing more that two 12 week plans back to back without a serious break. And even then I would be careful. For instance if you do a 12 week event plan finishing with a big GF or 100+ mile gravel ride you will likely want 2-3 weeks of “recovery” between one plan and another. Especially if you have another event coming up. That doesn’t mean full rest but definitely a reduced load.
On the other hand if you are doing a general plan (12weeks ending with a Full Frontal) you can pretty safely go right to the next 12 week plan as long as you are mentally ready. Both types of plans end with a taper but one ends with a FF and another with an event. As dreadful as FF can be, it will certainly be less of a load than a big GF. Basically you want to be ready (physically and mentally) to start your next plan.

On another note, we are in the process of adding some short "recovery and transition plans for just that purpose; To give you the right amount of recovery and get you ready for the next plan.

I hope this is helpful.

Kind regards,
Jeff

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@Sir.Jeff.Kerr that looks like a good model to follow- thanks for sharing that- good reminder to focus on why we ride in the first place!
@Coach.Jeff.H that’s very helpful indeed- really appreciate it. Way too easy to underestimate the need for recovery- both physical and mental. I’ll be putting that into practise, and look forward to checking out the recovery/ transition plans when they’re ready!

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@ Jeff
Short transition plans would definitely be cool, as would long ones. I’m not sure 12 weeks is long enough for a long duration A race. I’m principally thinking of an Ironman distance race: you’d have to be in good shape to only need 12 weeks. Even preceded with a four week Base plan I’d still want a bit more. In my experience I think 5 months is about right (~22 weeks).

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