After a long season where you targeted multiple goals, it’s time for a well-deserved resting period. Our 2020 talent and current U23 Dutch Road Race Champion, David Dekker, takes us through the different stages that featured his off-season!

How important is to have a well-balanced off-season after a hard racing year?
The off-season is a very important time of the year for me. In the first place is a time to recover mentally from the season and to recharge batteries. If you are so focused during the season, it’s nice to go in sort of a vacation mode where you don’t have to worry about training or diet. It’s also a moment to catch up with other social activities that are hard to do during the season. After the first few weeks I am getting eager again to start working towards the next season and that’s exactly what I need in the winter.

What are the different stages of the off-season period? And what’re the main goals of each one?
The first stage is the one that’s about full mental and physical recovery, as it is important to start your preparation with 100% focus for the next season. The second stage is about getting back on your bike, but it isn’t really a stage that you could name training. It’s about making your body fit again and get moving and also it0s a lot of fun doing some cyclocross or MTB training rides. The third stage is for me the big volume of training hours you will make, most of the time at a training camp somewhere abroad. Followed by the last stage that is about volume combined with targeted efforts to make yourself 100% race-ready.

What activities you like to do during this period and why it’s important to be active?
I try to ride together with other cyclists as much as possible and make fun rides in the woods on my cyclocross bike. But also next to riding my bike, I am busy with strength training sessions which really motivate me during the winter. Some non-training activities are also very nice to do like meeting friends or go on a short trip. It makes me feel very free as you don’t always have to worry about having bad legs during races at the weekend or being a bit tired. It really helps me to keep my mind fresh which I need to be able to train al the hours in the next months towards the season kick-off.