Transition Period vs. Offseason

In my experience, people use the term offseason to refer to taking time off the bike as well as the pre-competition phase. Offseason should be used to refer to the pre-competition time that you use to build your aerobic base and is after the transition phase which should be utilized to give an athlete proper mental rest and to fully recover from accumulated fatigue.

In southern California where I live its typical for athletes to train through seasons and not take a break. They do this for 2 reasons:

  1. They are afraid of losing the fitness that they worked so hard to attain.
  2. It doesn’t snow or rain much in Southern California so people usually hammer group rides year-round because it’s fun and all their friends do it.

This typically leads to decent early season results but, frustration towards the middle and end of season races, which is mostly championship season.

When should you start your transition period? You should start your transition period after the last race on your season calendar.

What to do in a Transition Period

So, what should a transition period consist of? I recommend 2-3 weeks of incredibly reduced activity and try to do a sport or activity that you typically don’t do. I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee with my friends, going on an occasional hike, or just going for a nice evening walk, if none of these appeals to you, feel free to rest an rejuvenate before beginning to build your strength and endurance in the base phase.

This is also a terrific time to look back on the past season and see what you did well, what goals you achieved and how you improved from the previous season. If you didn’t set goals for the past season I highly suggest setting goals for this upcoming season.

Feel free to check out and use the goal setting sheet I and my athletes use.

Cycling Goal Setting