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November 2, 2023 9:40 PM
The off-season is the portion of the year where you're not actively training for anything specific.
Every athlete must take some sort of off-season at some point because you can not hold peak fitness year-round. Staying in top condition year-round is physiologically impossible; everyone's body needs time to rest and recover.
WHEN IS OFF-SEASON?
There isn't one set amount of time that constitutes an off-season, and there isn't a specific time of year. It depends on your racing schedule and where in the world you live.
In North America, many people consider themselves to be in the off-season starting in late fall or early winter (typical after race season ends), and it lasts until they start training again in late winter or early spring. So often that would be November until February or March. The off-season typically coincides with colder, winter weather when the days are shorter, and it's darker and colder, making outdoor training unappealing.
WHAT DO I DO DURING THE OFF-SEASON?
During an off-season period, athletes might do some light training or they may do no training at all. It varies widely, and often it depends on how serious an athlete is about their sports. Very casual athletes often do no training, while more serious amateur athletes (age groupers) will do a structured off-season with specific purpose to their workouts. (Professional athletes also always have an off-season!)
In the MOTTIV app, because we provide year-round training, we build in a 7-week off-season. During that time, we provide training that is meant to help rebuild the body from the previous season's training and racing. Off-season training is lighter but incredibly impactful and super important for growth. It focuses on mobility and building strength to get the body ready for the next season.
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO TAKE AN OFF-SEASON?
People who try to train year round without an off-season quickly get into an over-trained/burned out state, and they often begin to sustain injuries very quickly. They also find their progress plateaus and they stop gaining speed or endurance; in fact, they often find they're losing ground and they usually don't know why. More is not better!
A period of light exercise for at least 7-weeks at some point of the year is critical for athletes to continue making progress in their race results year after year.
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