As the racing season comes to an end for most people it’s important to take some downtime to allow your body to recover, but also for some mental chill out time.
But an end of season break doesn’t mean you have to do nothing and sit on the sofa, it just means easing back on the training and reducing the intensity; giving yourself time to focus on other aspects of your life such as your family, friends and work.
Yes you will lose some fitness, and maybe put on a few pounds, but that’s ok! You can’t stay at the top of your game all the time. Your fitness will return, and (as long as you haven’t piled on loads of weight!) you’ll drop a few excess pounds again once full training resumes.
For your end of season break, after your final main race of the season, take 1-3 weeks very easy – no structured training at all, do nothing if you fancy that, but otherwise just do light, unplanned exercise (note it’s not training!) as and when you feel like it, and try to get out of the swim, bike, run routine. Enjoy walks, do a yoga class, go for a round of golf or play a game of tennis – allow yourself to forget about triathlon training but keep your active mindset happy. Think of this as active recovery from the season of training you’ve just completed. If you do swim, bike or run keep it easy and an hour a day at most is fine.
You can’t stay at the top of your game all the time. Your fitness will return and (as long as you haven’t piled on loads of weight!) you’ll drop a few excess pounds again once full training resumes.
After a couple of weeks of no triathlon training and structure you should be wanting to train again – that’s a sign that you’ve had a good break and the motivation to train is there so you can resume gentle triathlon training. If you don’t feel ready to train again, take another week of active recovery. There is plenty of time over winter to build that fitness back, so it’s best to start again when you are really motivated to commit to it.
A proper end of season break will likely prolong your triathlon career and keep you motivated in the long run, enabling you to perform better in the coming season and reach your potential.