The season is over, you are on a high after hopefully achieving your goals, but now is the time to allow your body a well-earned rest.
However, you probably already have one eye on next season………….
The off season can often be a confusing time for athletes, especially amateur triathletes who may not have the guidance of a coach. You may be asking yourself how much fitness do I maintain? How much rest do I give myself?
As with any sport, it is vital that you understand how to manage the off season, ensuring you find the right balance of recovery vs training to hit the ground running (literally) next season. A well structured winter can give you the foundations to build into next season, allowing for a gradual intensity increase without fear of injury by doing too much too soon.
Here are Life of Tri’s top 5 tips for the off-season:
- Take the rest, you’ve earned it
After a long season of training and races, even if you just built up to one event, enjoy the off season and let your body recover. People often feel they have to maintain race fitness over the winter, only to crash in motivation/energy as the new season is just about to start.
- Don’t rush your return to full training
Follow a dedicated winter/off season training plan which will allow you to recover then build back up at a sensible rate. The temptation is to ramp up the training to race levels too early which runs the risk of injury or burn out.
- Set goals
The off season is your opportunity to plan what you want to achieve in the following season. Whether its setting new PBs or stepping up the distance, the winter is your time to plan, ensuring there is enough time to prepare and recover for events.
- Keep on track
Just because it’s the off season doesn’t mean you take your eye off the ball. Continue to record your sessions ensuring you don’t slip into bad habits (regularly missing sessions) or increase training intensity too quickly without realising. Don’t be embarrassed of those zone 2 sessions recorded on Strava/Training Peaks, it takes a sensible head to build the foundations.
- Train rain or shine
It’s all too easy to miss a training session because of bad weather or dark nights. Of course, be safe but when possible get outdoors and train. You will need to top up those up those vitamin-D levels which will maintain bone strength and we all know the benefits being outdoors has on your mental health and wellbeing.