As triathlon race season comes to an end my athletes are enjoying some well-earned R&R and a much-needed break from daily structure, targets and hard work. It’s essential to have this break for a couple of weeks after your last race of the season – don’t worry about losing fitness. You will lose fitness, but that’s ok! You cannot stay at peak fitness all the time so enjoy the break, don’t think about training, don’t feel guilty for not training – see friends, spend time with family, put in extra effort at work and say thanks/give back to everyone that supports you when you are in the midst of training and not always devoting enough time to life outside of tri. Don’t be completely sedentary, but don’t check out your HR while you go for a walk round the park either!
You will lose fitness, but that’s ok!
Once you have had a break, the motivation to get back into routine is there, and you are thinking about next year’s goals and races then comes off season training. What does this mean to you?
Off season is your chance to focus on those areas that are often neglected in peak season when time is stretched fitting in all the training. The 6-10 weeks after your end of season break is your off season.
Areas to focus on in your off season:
• Technical/skill development across swim, bike, run – often with a focus on your weakest (and least favourite?!) element
• Strength and conditioning – get strong and reduce your chances of injury when training volume and intensity pick up again
• Reduced training intensity – you want to sustain cardiovascular fitness but you need a mental and physical break from the hard work that is set to come again. Within this, do other sports but with a cardio focus eg mountain biking, trail running, hiking. Note, there is still some intensity, but less of it and interspersed with more easier training
Enjoy your off season and train smart and you’ll be set for a successful start to the new year and your next race season