Nov. 1, 2016

You’ve just finished up your final race of the season… Now what?  Physiologically, you can’t be at peak all year 'round.  It’s important to take this time to let the body recover and the mind reset for next year.  Welcome… OFF-SEASON!

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should let your bike sit and pout in the garage for 3 months.  Too much time off can actually set you behind so decide on what your best method of rest looks like.

Take the Break:
A solid 2 weeks off is pretty typical for most athletes.  Most people will take their off-season break during the late fall or winter and then start base training back up with a spring race in mind.  Spend this time doing NOTHING TRIATHLON!   Enjoy sleeping in and hit the gym for an elliptical workout or any non-structured workout if you feel like it.  The best thing you can do for your body and mind is to let it relax and heal from all of the rigorous time and miles you have put in throughout your season. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you keep your body moving and blood flowing. Use your Normatec boots to flush those legs out.

Avoid the Blues:
Stay active!  Most athletes in this sport need some sort of activity to focus on.  Why not try something new, that you’ve never ventured into?  Yoga, spin class, hiking, cyclocross, and walking the dogs are all great ways to get out of the house and keep the body and mind in a positive state.
  
You might also want to write yourself or your coach a post season summary describing what went well, what worked, and what things that you need to improve on.  Then you can start writing up next season’s race schedule.  Think about the goals you want to accomplish for next year and decide what it will take to accomplish these goals.  You and your coach can then decide what strengths you need to focus on during the off-season.

If you don’t have a coach this is the perfect time to start looking for someone who will guide you through a great season.  With so many different coaching styles out there, spend some time interviewing the right coaches to find someone who is truly going to suit your prospective training needs. 

Focus on Technique:
Most athletes could admit that they have at least 1 weakness in their sport.  After the initial “time off” take a few weeks to work in some specific technique training.  There is usually not enough time to specifically make changes to technique in your swim stroke, or pedaling efficiency during your busy training season. Plus, it takes time for the body to adapt to these changes.  Spend the off-season figuring out which areas in each discipline need the most form and technique training and go at it.  By season start, you’ll be ready to roll!

Up Your Cadence:
If it’s cycling that you think you need to work on, start with some high-cadence work.  Allowing your body during this time to adapt to the high-cadence work will make for a strong transition into training in the bigger gears.  If you’re working on a stationary bike or your trainer make sure that your pedal stroke is smooth throughout the session and that you’re not bouncing around on the saddle.  After some time, transition over to the big ring and continually work on high cadence of 95+ RPM.  You’ll soon notice this will seem a little more natural and you’ll be ready to work in some big gear work.  Throughout the season continually work in some high-cadence workouts to make sure that those slow twitch muscles are constantly engaged.

WORK ON YOUR STRENGTH:
Learn how to utilize the gym or find some home strength training exercises you can work into your daily routine.  Take the time to nurse any minor injuries and build up those prime muscles that hold your strong body together through the season.  There are several videos on the BSRX3 YouTube channel that you can refer to for some great exercises.  

Build the Foundation:
It’s important to be out of shape before you can get in shape.  Don’t worry… You will pick up fitness quicker than you think.  Optimize your training schedule so that you aren’t working in too many workouts.  Less frequent and more quality training in the right plan goes far.  Too much too soon, can cause burn-out, overtraining, and injury.  Build yourself the right plan that will gradually take you into the season.

With just a few changes to your regular training regimen and consistent productive work you’ll be ready to hit next season with a bang!

WRITTEN BY

KARLEEN DIRMANTAS

TRIATHLON COACH

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