The off-season is the time when Champions are made. It is not time off from training but rather time off from racing. Champions know this difference and focus all their energies to be better in their overall fitness regimen and up their racing abilities – come back bigger than ever before in the next season.
However, there are triathletes that often get stressed out in this phase, taking too long to get back their training mojo, and others who overwork their system and then enter the base period exhausted and injured.
Transitioning from intense training schedules to off-season is tricky and we know that. So, we have just the guide to help you utilize your off-season constructively by:
- Defining off-season goals
- Working on your off-season goals:
- Plan your off-season triathlon training needs
- Take up the extra mile
- Reconnect and rebuild your support system
- Other activities to consider
- Preparing for the triathlon event
Defining Off-Season Goals
Off-Season goals mean different things to different people. A time for honest self-evaluation, it needs you to observe your game carefully, list down areas of improvement and highlight your strengths.
Get more specific training on your weakest sport. For instance, while running you have the endurance, but your form goes for a toss – what do you do? Strength training to have a stronger body to meet the needs of your sport should be your grail.
These generic off-season goals can help you create your personal plan:
- General training to enhance foundational strength and stability.
- Work on cardiovascular endurance
- Improve strength & conditioning of moving muscles
- Develop technical skills
- Improve your mental well-being
The off-season is a triathlon transition phase marked by relaxation, healing, refocusing, and training to enter your next season with high mental agility and overall fitness.
Working on your off-season goals
Once you know what you need to focus on, here are tips to get you started:
Plan your Off-Season Triathlon training needs
Assess your performance carefully to know what worked in your favor and what did not. Here are ways to plan out your training needs:
- Do a video analysis of your swim stroke
- Gait analysis to improve biomechanics and to reduce injuries.
- Improve bike handling
- Nutrition and mental well-being analysis
Take the extra mile
To take up a long-distance triathlon, it is important to build aerobic and muscle strength. Alternatively, you can focus on speed rather than the distance for short distance race. The idea here is to break the pattern.
- If you are more accustomed to long races, shift your focus to speed sessions with 50 to 100m high-intensity performance in the pool.
- When running, push your heart rate up; you can do so by elevating your RPM and doing higher cadence work on your bike.
- Learn about new things like Ironman swimming distance if you not already in the know.
Shake up your comfort zone and discover a new ‘you’.
Reconnect and rebuild your support system
Your hectic training schedule takes a toll on your loved ones. It’s time to reconnect with your support system to appreciate the efforts they put in to help you perform better. It also improves your mental well-being and emotional stability.
A focused and a happy state of mind is the key to excellence.
Other Activities to Consider
The idea is to stay in the game even during the off-season without getting bogged down by the sameness of your training routine. Break the monotony and introduce a variety of activities like cyclocross, swim training, running races, hiking, yoga, meditation and so on to stay in shape for your next racing season.
Furthermore, blend your routine training sessions with new types of strength training for triathletes. Begin with formal training in a swim club and then head to open water training or water polo. If you are tired of standard triathlons and the road run, then switch to trail running or cross-country races. The varied terrain helps in strengthening different muscle groups and the cardio system. It also enhances the overall technique.
The mantra is to do what you love and spice it up with variation.
Preparing for the next triathlon event
once your triathlon training plan is sorted, it’s time to plan out the actual triathlon races carefully. Triathlon gear and triathlon wetsuits often take a backseat in the priority list but are really crucial.
To ensure optimum performance in a triathlon event, it is important to have triathlon gear that enhances flexibility and improves your performance. So, carefully examine your triathlon wetsuit and try out the new and improved options available before choosing the one that suits you best.
While you do all the above, don’t forget to rest. Let your body and mind completely recover from any injuries and fatigue. Remember, how you utilize your off-season will determine your success rate. So, plan and perform well.