Hi there. I live and cycle in Brunei where it’s summer temperatures – 31 to 32°C, with high humidity – all year. I’ve been here for 10 months and cycle three or four times a week, averaging 600 to 700km per month.
With there being no ‘off-season,’ how does it effect my body if I cycle 12 months a year with no break? I don’t want a break as I enjoy the cycling too much, but don’t want to burn myself out.
Hi Andy. I’m sure your letter’s first two sentences have just made a lot of our UK readers very jealous!
There’s nothing essentially wrong with the volume you’re doing – far from it – and although you’d probably benefit from a drop in exercise volume every six to eight weeks, if you’re both fit and healthy there aren’t any reasons I can think of why you shouldn’t continue your current rides all year round.
Many of the chronic effects of exercise are positive ones. For example, you may develop increased muscular endurance and a greater aerobic capacity. It would be wise, however, to pay attention to the possible problematic ‘side-effects’ that can be experienced through a high volume of cycling as your sole exercise.
It’s a good idea to establish a stretching regime, to attend to those muscles that become shortened through cycling, and to make sure that you take adequate rest periods if you begin to feel overly fatigued.
Looking at things from a performance perspective, variation is an important principle of training, and if you wish to see any gains in your ability to ride faster or further, then you would need to undertake a more specific, periodised schedule of riding. This should cover the variations in both volume and effort, along with the inclusion of active recovery, which you’d need to turn your regular rides into structured training.
Rob Mortlock is a BC coach
This article was first published in the December 12 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!