The clocks have gone back and the major triathlon championship races have been completed. November may strictly be an Autumn month but for most triathletes it’s truly the start of Winter aka. the off season. Here’s my top tips to starting this period on the front foot:
- Take a break – some time away from the rigours of triathlon training will refresh your body and mind. Exercise if you really want to but avoid data and metrics. Do not be concerned about losing a little fitness or gaining a little weight right now. In order to have a peak you must have a trough. 2-4 weeks will likely cover most people here.
- Know where you are now - take baseline measurements (tests) to ensure your expectations are realistic. Train the person you are now not the one you were previously or the one you want to be. Set goals from this baseline and work with a plan throughout the Winter months. Think about where you’d like to be in the Spring.
- If you’re prone to injury, over 40 and/or haven’t done much strength training in the past then you will probably benefit from regular strength and conditioning work. Possibly more so than adding ‘another’ aerobic session.
- Become a student of the sport and learn the fundamentals of technique and fitness. All too often we look for improvements by simply training harder, longer or faster but this will only get you so far and that’s possibly overtrained.
- Build a network of supportive people around you; inclusive of your Tri friends, on-line communities, maybe a Physio, a masseur, a nutritionist, local bike shop. You will likely need all of these regularly!
- Finally, make sure to enjoy what you do! Strive to ensure that your participation in triathlon makes you happy or develops you as a person.