Tag Archive for: off-season training

Incorporating strength and core exercises during the off-season will make you stronger on the bike

Many question the difference between training regimens in the race season and the off-season. With the onset of winter and colder weather are there many changes to be made?

The answer is yes. You can just do what you were doing in the summer for the off-season, but you also need to take advantage of the down time to work on some bike skills and strength base exercises to make you stronger. This can include muscular strength, on bike efficiency, body composition and more importantly flexibility  and core strength /stability. Your program must also facilitate maintaining Key Performance Factors (KPF)  which would include the aerobic and anaerobic systems and building a foundation of speed and agility. (See below for the KPF components).

At the end of the cycling season (traditionally October) you and your coach will review the ups and downs of the past season. This ‘performance audit’  will review each KPF and also Key Performance Indicators (KPI). From this review we are able to provide new guidelines, do a new plan and set training targets for the upcoming season.

It is important to remember that your training during off-season will affect your performance in mid-season and race season. All the above may sound complicated but it is your coach’s responsibility to work with you and ensure you have the right training program for your needs and goals.

Key Performance Factors:

Aerobic System:

  • Maximal Aerobic Power
  • Endurance Capacity

Anaerobic Lactic System:

  • Power/Capacity


  • Acceleration Speed (Speed Strength)
  • Speed Endurance
  • Maximum Speed
  • Change of Speed

Muscular Endurance and Strength

Core Strength and Stability


Body Composition , Nutrition

On Bike Efficiency / Riding Economy and Pacing   /Aerodynamics

By Houshang Amiri ChPc


About Pacific Cycling Centre: PCC brings four decades of experience, providing coaching and training services for Elite, Masters, and Junior athletes in road, mountain bike, track, and cyclo-cross. PCC’s goal is to create a training environment for athletes at the development level, and to maintain a permanent, high-performance training group of national team and pre-national team athletes at the Centre, with the appropriate coaching and support systems. This will be achieved through expert one-on-one coaching, focused training camps, and competing in many local, provincial and national races.

For most cyclists the cycling season ends with the World Championships in September or other races that month. Following the final race the transition phase starts. The usual duration of this phase is a minimum of three weeks and maximum of five weeks depending on how hard your season was.

The main purpose of this transition phase is to facilitate adequate physiological and psychological rest and rejuvenation while maintaining an acceptable general fitness level. In order to maintain your base fitness you will need about 3-4 training sessions per week that consist of a variety of aerobic activities such as hiking, jogging, swimming etc. Whatever you enjoy doing. Each session can be from 1.5-3 hours in length but must include stretches and core work.

The transition phase is a good time to reflect on the season and re-evaluate what has gone right, and most importantly what didn’t go as planned during your season. Generally, you and your coach can start looking into each Key Performance Factors given your discipline and the race requirements, and to identify the gaps and weakness that you had in past season. Based on those findings you can start planning the new season.

Start the new plan with setting goals and follow it with a list of needs to achieve your goals (e.g. equipment improvement, strength development, etc.) and work through it. As long as your goals are realistic, and you have identified how you can achieve these goals and objectives, you will be able to overcome challenges. Remember, a good and well thought out plan is only the start.  The most important part is the implementation and managing of your plan. As this is a complicated process, an experienced coach can help you to simplify the procedure and save you time in the long run to steer you in the right direction.

At PCC, we start our off-season training late in October with the setting up of an individual plan for each athlete. In our programs we start our group training sessions with three supervised sessions (two road rides and one indoor dynamic strength session) as well as training camps.

By Houshang Amiri