By Karla Bensen
Guest Writer for The Cycling Lawyer

It’s official, summer is over. Kids are back in school, the mornings are darker and the smell of pumpkin spice is starting to permeate the air. For many cyclists, Fall is the signal to hang up their bike till next season. While you may not spend as much time in the saddle during the winter offseason, it does not mean your cycling progress has to come to a complete halt. With a little planning, here are some ideas on how to make the most of your “Off Season” to help you prepare and get stronger for next season.

  • Fix that Niggling Injury – Have you been dealing with an injury that isn’t serious, but just annoying enough to bother you after those longer rides? Has an injury stopped you from riding in general? Take the time to schedule an appointment with a local physiotherapist or chiropractor. Recovery and rehab may take longer than expected, so while you are out of the saddle for the winter season, use it to work through any muscle imbalances or corrective exercises. Putting in the time for rehabilitation outside the season, you will spend more time enjoying your time in the saddle rather than on the sidelines with a larger injury. Your future self will thank you.
  • Strength Gains – Want to start next season out on a strong note? The winter season is a great time to focus on strength training. Strength training helps cyclists build muscle, increase power output, prevent injury and promote recovery. I suggest working with a personal trainer or joining a small group class for proper instruction.  By following a program and being consistent with strength training, you will retain your fitness (or improve) what you have spent all summer creating.
  • Find a Cycling Community – There is nothing more lonely than being stuck on a trainer in your garage for hours while you clock your winter miles. During those dark, cold mornings, motivation to train can dwindle. Having an accountability buddy or community waiting for you will help encourage you to keep working through those dark trainer sessions. I suggest trying to find fellow like-minded riders through indoor cycling clubs such as Method or TAG. No cycling clubs in your local area? There are many online riding communities you can find through programs such as Zwift or Strava. As a bonus, you can train with this community in person once the riding season begins.

Don’t let the winter season freeze your progress. Use this time as an opportunity to refine your body, shore up your weaknesses and start next riding season on a strong note.


Karla is the owner of Elevated Endurance – a personal trainer and coach that focuses on working with the endurance athlete. Karla believes in a holistic approach to training, balancing programming and strength to elevate the athlete’s performance. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Karla enjoys trail running, triathlons, hiking, weightlifting and exploring the Vancouver area on two wheels.

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