18 Nov 2003
It has been a long and demanding season. Whether you are a competitor or simply a passionate rider, you’ve given your all. Now it’s time for a regenerative pause.
Your body needs it, and so does your mind.
Sports, especially competitive sports, can stress organs and the physical apparatus, due to the exceptional work load.
Muscles, joints, heart, lungs, endocrine system have all gradually adapted to the effort loads, but they can also show signs of exhaustion or minor damage.
These effects are almost always reversible, and it for this purpose that it is advisable to give the body a recovery break of between 2-4 weeks.
I you feel particularly tired, you’d do best to opt for complete rest, with no physical exertion.
If, on the other hand, you finish your season still fresh and enthusiastic to the point that you can’t stay inactive, we advise you to engage in physical activity other than cycling: long walks in hills or mountains, jogging, tennis, skiing, workouts at the gym.
We make this suggestion not only for psychological reasons, but also as a way to compensate for muscular imbalances that can occur in athletes who practice cycling exclusively.
The act of pedaling produces muscle contractions that are almost always of the “concentric” type, when muscles tend to shorten; while deambulation (walking, running, jumping) uses muscles both in concentric and in eccentric contractions.
In this sense, a cyclist’s movements are not absolutely natural for the human body, and in the long run cycling can produce imbalances in muscles and posture.
Take advantage of the off-season break to evaluate problems that may have come up during the year, like allergies, persistent muscle or joint pains, etc., or to prevent pathologies or problems that might come up next season. A thorough dental exam, a static and dynamic posture evaluation, blood and urine tests can all be of value.