After a massive 2021, which saw Luke Durbridge race a string of classics, Tour Down Under, Tour de France, Worlds Championships and the Olympics he deserves a bit of time off the bike.
Here’s how the wonder from down under maps out this time off the bike.
Well it’s that time of year again where the cycling world winds down for winter and all the riders and staff of the pro peloton return home for some rest mentally and physically.
I thought I’d put together some off season insights and how I mentally and physically unwind to be ready to embark on another pro season next year.
This is something I’m not always very good at, as I like to keep busy off the bike. But it’s super important you give your body a rest. Normally we do 20-30k per year so taking time off the saddle is good for you.
Do what you want!
We pretty much have our whole life on a spreadsheet or training program so I find it’s always good to be spontaneous. You can do what you want for a month.
This is hard for me as I love a plan but as a de-stress I try to not plan that much. Even though I am always doing something it’s just done with less structure or time pressure.
Indulge for a month.
I don’t restrict my diet or care what I eat or drink. I love good food so eating quality and healthy food is something I love but portions I don’t tend to care.
It means I put on weight but I do feel this is an important process to let your body regenerate and not be restricted or regimented like it is during the season.
Do something new
I like to be active so I’ll try new things to keep my body moving. In Girona, we get together and have big games of wall ball or cricket which is a good sweat and great fun. Then I get into some hikes, running, swimming, standing up paddle boarding,rock climbing and just whatever is going I’m up for. No reason to say “no” in the off season.
Challenge the mind.
I like to try and challenge my mind in the off season so I look for a skill or something I can learn completely different from cycling to upskill myself. Last couple of years I’ve done a few mini courses online. They challenge you in a different way which I think is good for your mental strength and health.
This one is the most important to me
Spending quality time with my wife, my family and my friends that I might not get a chance to during the season. You cannot neglect this for too long as it impacts your mental health. Especially when the season gets long and hard and you need to top up that family/friends tank to last a season.
When you start again
By this time you have had 4-6weeks off the bike and it’s time to get going again. You’re slow on the bike, have hairy legs and you’re over not having a plan and goal and you start dreaming of having an amazing upcoming season.
I’m like a kid at Christmas when the first day of pre-season rolls around. This means I shave the legs and roll out into the Perth sun, meet my mates at the coffee shop and we head out into the hills and try to turn this fat baby rhino into a unicorn.
In this pre-season period I still add a lot of other activities to complement my bike riding. I still go running, swimming and going to the gym as it’s important to build this base so you don’t get injured during the year.
Before you know it the next season rolls around and you mentally and physically ready to rock.
Hailing from Western Australian originally, Luke has grown into one of the world’s best domestiques in the WorldTour. Luke rides FulGaz to stay fit, fast and motivated year round.
As an Olympian and dual national time trial champion, Luke has a string of notable achievements at the international level having represented Australia many times at World Championships, Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
When’s he’s not racing bikes around Europe, he can be found playing wall ball in Girona with the squad, or spending time at the cafe.