by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)
September’s the month when everything starts again: we get back to our usual work schedule, kids go back to school, football starts again, even the winter TV schedule begins…
Ever since I was a child, I’ve always lived September as if it were a magical month, full of promise, the right time to start something new.
Now, as a cyclist, September represents a ‘middle ground’.
Weather conditions are perfect for cycling, although the time available is slowly getting shorter and shorter.
The Summer’s achievements and pleasures are all behind us, and ahead is the prospect of a long Winter.
All in all, do you find you’re a bit low on motivation when you get to September?
Let’s look for some ways of making the most of this month.
1 – Unplug
As we move on from the longer days, they leave their mark not only from a physical point of view, but also mentally. Our minds probably need a break and to have other types of stimulation.
So, if you haven’t got any important events in your calendar for the next few weeks, then your watchword should be ‘fun’.
Enjoy riding your bike, make the most of your good physical condition in the autumnal colours and weather, but don’t feel down about yourself.
If you don’t have time to go out in the week, but you want to ‘keep your legs moving’ to get the most of the end of the season, then use rollers or a spinning bike.
(Yes, I know they’re boring, but have you ever tried a Turbo Trainer?)
2 – Hone your skills
Away from races and challenging rides, this is the perfect time to do some tests and fix minor problems you have had through the season.
Do you feel like you are pedalling unevenly or asymmetrically?
Check your cleat position as it could have changed over the season, or they’re simply not adjusted correctly.
Do you feel too stretched out on your bike?
Try altering the seat height or its forward position (just by a few millimetres).
Do you transfer power well from your legs to the pedals?
Use this time to improve your pedalling technique.
And don’t believe anyone who tells you that “you can’t change your natural movement”.
Just as in any other sport, you can and have to learn and improve your technique in cycling – refining it over time.
Have a look at the page Turbo Pedalata (tr. Turbo Cycling) for a step-by-step approach.
3 – Next season’s dreams
I could have written “plan” or “objective setting” instead of the the word that fits more appropriately: “dreams”.
Dream about your future achievements, large or small, your revenge, your enjoyment, that feeling of freedom and well-being you’ll have when you get to next Spring.
These dreams will be the fuel that powers you through the long, cold months.
But now’s not the time to be thinking seriously about winter preparation, we are only in September and for a few weeks we will still have some good cycling weather.
What will you do this September? What training will you do? How will you prepare for Autumn/Winter as a cyclist?