The off-season for triathletes is here and you are left with a significant amount of time before your next triathlon. You might decide to continue with your regular training routine if you live in warmer climates.
Or, you might be absolutely frustrated that you can’t train because of all the snow! But you know what? There’s a reason why it’s called “off-season”.
We’re here to alleviate some of that frustration and to tell you why taking a break from your regular triathlon training routine is a good thing! Here are five things every serious triathlon junkie’s got to do this winter.
Your body isn’t meant to train hard all year round. It needs time to rest and repair itself. A two week break immediately after your last big race lets your body do just that.
Two weeks is just long enough to ensure that you do not lose a significant amount of your fitness. This is also a good time to assess your injuries if any, and take care of them. Consult a professional if necessary.
Meanwhile, feel free to sleep in, binge watch your favorite shows and order in that occasional pizza! If you absolutely can’t bear the inactivity, indulge yourself with some light exercise. If you feel like a Jedi Knight who must train, decide on an activity – and cut in half. For example, if you plan an eight-mile-long bike ride uphill for some “light exercise”, cut it short and do only three or four miles – on flat terrain. You get the idea.
Improve Your Technique
Use your time over the winter to improve your technique. Adapting to a new technique isn’t easy and can cause a downward trend in your performance while learning. This can get extremely frustrating when you are in that high intensity phase of training.
Besides, new techniques may require the use of muscles that might not be accustomed to heavy training. This period allows you to slowly build them up for optimal performance.
Use this time wisely to concentrate on your weakest sport. For example, you can use an indoor pool to improve your swimming technique or learn to increase your cadence on the bike. The winter break from high intensity training is perfect for mastering new skills so you are ready to use them when your actual training for the season begins!
Do Something Different
Give both your mind and body a rest from run of the (tread) mill activities! Get in some yoga to improve your flexibility and core fitness. If you live in areas with a lot of snow, use the time to enjoy some skiing or snowboarding. They are all fun and will keep you active.
You’ll find you are all too eager to get back into your regular training routine once winter ends.
Endurance and Strength Training
Many triathletes often overlook the value of strength training during off-season. Use winters wisely to build up bone and muscle strength. This will allow you get through the rest of the year without having to focus extensively on strength training routines.
Strength and endurance training go hand in hand. Evaluate your endurance and prepare an endurance training plan. This will help reestablish your aerobic base. Focus on short intense workouts instead of long ones. Not everyone is the same though and what works for your training buddy might not work for you. Consult a coach to develop a plan suited to you. You’ll see the results in summer as you run better and bike faster.
With all the seasonal festivities and dinner parties, it is difficult to eat well. Some of us may have gotten a little too carried away with all the tempting goodies that go with the holiday season.
As long as you somewhat watched what you were eating, you might have gained a bit of weight but that might not be too bad a thing. It will wear off once training season starts. We suggest you keep a food log so you can be sure that you are eating the right foods.
The taper season doesn’t have to be tough. We suggest you use this time to be around your loved ones, taste all your favorite treats, train wisely and get ready for the next season. We know it will be the best one yet!
Speaking of which, long winter evenings are the best times to browse for some triathlete gear so you are really ready when the new season arrives. At Just Wetsuits, we are with you every step of the way. Email us if you need help with triathlon wetsuits and gear, or call us at 1-877-784-7808.