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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most of the guys I ride with are in their 40s and 50s. Most don't race (like 90%). Typical 25-55 mile group (5-10) rides are around a 21mph avg. So, not slow, but not fending off calls from sponsors either.

Every year around this time, we start hearing "winter pace" and "It's the off-season". But "off" of what? If you're not racing... what's "off"?

I get that for guys racing and training throughout the RACE season, there's a reason to take a breath, heal, recover. But, do we - the 40+ amateur riders - really need an off season?
 

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Most of the guys I ride with are in their 40s and 50s. Most don't race (like 90%). Typical 25-55 mile group (5-10) rides are around a 21mph avg. So, not slow, but not fending off calls from sponsors either.

Every year around this time, we start hearing "winter pace" and "It's the off-season". But "off" of what? If you're not racing... what's "off"?

I get that for guys racing and training throughout the RACE season, there's a reason to take a breath, heal, recover. But, do we - the 40+ amateur riders - really need an off season?
I don't race, but I do ride at a "winter pace", and it keeps burn out at bay while still putting miles into the legs. I try and ride at a pace where I keep the sweat to a minimum and can watch the roads for ice for about 20-30 miles.

Mileage and pace are dictated by temperature and comfort level. More clothes/colder temps equals lower pace and fewer miles, and vicey-versy. This keeps me fresh and ready for the spring without wearing me down.
 

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It's too early for our 'winter pace'...avg temp for us this time of year is still in the 50's. Jan/Feb is usually slower with about the same mileage. Intervals/training start late Feb/early March. I don't race, but act like I do.
 

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Every year around this time, we start hearing "winter pace" and "It's the off-season". But "off" of what? If you're not racing... what's "off"?

I get that for guys racing and training throughout the RACE season, there's a reason to take a breath, heal, recover. But, do we - the 40+ amateur riders - really need an off season?
5 inches of fresh snow and a forecast low of 10F (-12C) by the middle of next week. Winter pace means getting on the rollers, cranking up the sound system, and catching up on a summer's worth of piled up reading.
 

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In celebration of my 64th birthday I rode 64 miles on Wednesday. Temps were at freezing +- a couple of degrees. My warm gloves failed before rolling out. I had two flats on the road. I was happy to have finished that damned ride without pulling an Arte Johnson!
 

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I don't race, but I do ride at a "winter pace", and it keeps burn out at bay while still putting miles into the legs. I try and ride at a pace where I keep the sweat to a minimum and can watch the roads for ice for about 20-30 miles.

Mileage and pace are dictated by temperature and comfort level. More clothes/colder temps equals lower pace and fewer miles, and vicey-versy. This keeps me fresh and ready for the spring without wearing me down.
^^^ This.
Riding at peak performance when you're dressed for temps in the 30°'s/40°'s makes you a cold sweaty mess.

Due to weather, reduced daylight, and night riding, my winter mileage drops ~25%. And about 1/2 of my riding is at night which reduces your speeds too. No way I could ride at my summer average speeds in my reduced condition.
 

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In celebration of my 64th birthday I rode 64 miles on Wednesday. Temps were at freezing +- a couple of degrees. My warm gloves failed before rolling out. I had two flats on the road. I was happy to have finished that damned ride without pulling an Arte Johnson!
That's pretty good for an old man :thumbsup:, but I bet the language was pretty foul while you were dealing with those flats.

Happy Birthday.
 

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But, do we - the 40+ amateur riders - really need an off season?
Maybe. I don't think it matters if one races or not though.

I think there is value in a change of pace for me this time of year. More focus on aerobic capacity and strength training in the gym seems to allow for better performance late in a race and later in the season.
 

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We practice some sort of off-season slow-down here in SoCal, but it always slips my mind. Did a long 500 meter leadout for this morning's "prestigious" sprint, in an attempt to try to animate our 60-odd group. Nearly took the darn thing when nobody seemed interested in coming around me!
 

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I don't get the winter pace thing either. When it's cold af the last thing I want to do is ride around slow and bored to tears for hours on end, slowly losing all feeling in my extremities.

Winter is the best time to do the "fun stuff" because it keeps the blood moving and your mind off the coldness.
 

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Overtraining can affect racers and cycling enthusiasts alike.

If you don't take a periodic break from fiesty-paced group rides, you leave yourself exposed to overtraining. I've seen results so bad, people have just plain quit the sport from burnout.

If you don't want to participate in "winter pace" rides, create your own ride group with your own agenda.
 

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ugh hell no, it's a complete waste of time if you're in good shape and not trying to rehab from an injury. I'd rather hit the gym then drone on my bike while yawning in tears. Winter is a great time for a fast tempo climbing though!

As for riding in the snow, well damn living in Socal I don't know what's it's like but I'd imagine it sucks. Now I've climbed on the local mountains when there is snow but not when the snow is on the road. It's usually a clear sunny day with snow on the sides. Climbing up the San Bernadino forests in March-April when there is still snow on the sides but with plenty of sunshine and road is dry can be quite zen-like!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I take a couple weeks throughout the year (will NOT bring a bike on family beach trip - just eat, sleep, drink, repeat; same thing around Christmas). So, the overtraining thing is less of a concern. I do pay attention during the "season" too - skipping rides if I'm feeling off, etc.

And yeah - NO interest in a chit-chat pace when it's 30 degrees. If my HR is below 130, I'm COLD.

Seems like a mixed bag of preferences - hence the solid suggest by Peter P... do own thing/create ride accordingly
 

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You guys don't know how good you have it. It's negative 6 degrees (fahrenheit) here today with a windchill of 20 below, and today will be the warmest day this week. Saturday, the day I have time to ride long, the low will be negative 22, the high 2 below, and who knows what the real feel will be, but I'm not road riding in that so that will be an xc ski day. Weather in the 30's and 40's is heavenly. Heck, I'll do longer rides when it's 15 degrees; just have to dress right for it.
 

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Weather is all relative, you get used to it. I'd miss xc skiing in the winter if I moved. I could never live in NYC or Chicago or LA; I can barely stand the traffic here. I really would love to move to Colorado and have the four seasons without the bitter cold, but my job is such that I can't really leave.
 

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I seemed to do a lot better with lots of winter base. I did too many intervals one winter and imploded in July. Way too cold in my area to be riding outside and not enough daylight when work is factored in.

I'm training a lot more this winter due to more vacation time at work.
 

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Besides, it's skiing season. Young guys should be ski mountaineering/backcountry skiing. Us old guys just skiing our legs off in the lift served backcountry. Who ice skates in the summer?
Maybe. I don't think it matters if one races or not though.

I think there is value in a change of pace for me this time of year. More focus on aerobic capacity and strength training in the gym seems to allow for better performance late in a race and later in the season.
 
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