The racing season for many cyclists and triathletes often coincides with the summer holidays, and a complete break from training is not an option at this time. So how do you maintain your training during the holidays and preserve the hard-won fitness of the previous months? We have put together six tips to answer this question.
1. Plan your training in advance
The first tip is to plan your workouts in advance to maximise efficiency. Plan your sessions with foresight, taking into account the time available, location, terrain and temperature. Having a written and visible training plan will help you maintain your routine and motivate you to train even during this time of relax. As running is a very flexible sport, it can make sense to focus on it during the holidays and to push cycling or swimming before or after the holiday.
If you have a race scheduled and you use the periodized training model, it may be useful to plan your holiday week at the same time as your tapering week. This will allow you to take your mind off the pre-race stress and relax properly. The important thing is to keep your muscles active with continuous training. Plan your holidays so that they don’t interfere with your target race.
2. Take advantage of the cooler hours of the day
The ideal time to do sport during the summer holidays, and in general, is in the morning! By using the early hours of the morning for cycling or running, you will avoid extreme temperatures and crowds of tourists. Once your morning workout is done, you can take a well-deserved break or get on with the activities you have planned for your trip without making your family or friends wait all day.
3. Adapt your training
Don’t forget that plans can always change during holidays. Although endurance athletes tend to have well-established routines, it is important to be flexible and open to changes in your plan, given time constraints, different conditions and other planned activities. Here are some useful tips:
- Focus on key sessions: if you want to reduce the amount of training on holiday, you should focus on key high-intensity sessions (intervals, medium tempo runs and long jogs). When you return, you may feel your muscles a little less reactive, but you will not suffer a major drop in fitness. The effect of detraining only becomes apparent after about two weeks of rest.
- Set priorities and be realistic: focusing on maintaining fitness during the holidays or even taking a short break from training (if you don’t have a race planned soon) is fine. Determine in advance the amount of your original training you intend to do, so that you will not feel guilty or frustrated when your training load is reduced.
- Train according to intensity: try not to focus too much on the GPS watch and pace. Do your workouts according to your effort level and capacity, bearing in mind that high temperatures naturally slow down the pace. And don’t forget that training should be fun, you are still on holiday!
4. Explore routes and landscapes
Traveling is a great opportunity to discover new places and routes, different from those you usually encounter during your regular training sessions. Especially when cycling, you will have the chance to admire breathtaking views. Look for trails in advance, ask locals for advice, or use dedicated apps and websites to find the best routes for your ride. You can also combine exercise with sightseeing and kill two birds with one stone.
If the holiday is used for a training camp, then the body is deliberately exposed to new stimuli through an unusually high and intense training load. Click here for more information on how to plan this in 2PEAK.
5. Discover the surroundings
Make the most of your surroundings! If you are by the sea or lake, or your hotel has a swimming pool, swim as much as possible. If you’re in the mountains, take the opportunity to go hiking, trail running or mountain biking. If the hotel has a gym, it’s a good idea to work out as soon as you wake up: You still have the whole day ahead of you.
6. Make sure you eat properly
We are aware that this is easier said than done. During the holidays, culinary temptations are everywhere and it is easy to indulge in excesses. However, nutrition remains one of the fundamental pillars of successful sports performance. Don’t forget that you are on holiday, so don’t be too hard on yourself and indulge in a few treats! However, try to find a balance in your meals: make sure you include fruit, vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, pasta and rice. Avoid junk food and try to vary your diet as much as possible. Of course, remember to keep yourself adequately hydrated, especially during the summer, when temperatures are very high.