This is a time where you forgo your structured training for a period of time, get caught up on all the work, family, household, business, vacations, chores you half-assed during your season, and restore a little balance in your life.
Most triathletes can do this very well…for about a week! And then we want to go back to the scheduled, rigorous training we did all season. Which is NOT a good idea. Without taking time off, most athletes can get burned out, over train, or worse, injured.
In Colorado we can’t compete year round in triathlon without traveling to warmer, drier climates, so for most Coloradans, our off-season is the Winter months.
But don’t let Winter get you down! There are a ton of fun things we can do to give our minds and bodies a break while still challenging ourselves in our sport.
Cyclocross is sport that is a cross between mountain biking, obstacle course racing, and cross-country running. The bike courses combine riding on pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills with obstacles that require the rider to dismount, carry the bike, and remount often.
Cyclocross is very hard and will help with sprinting, bike handling, and maxing out your heart rate. They do make cyclocross specific bikes, but as a beginner, you could use a mountain bike. I am actually trying this out for the first time this year and have my first race THIS weekend! YIKES!
Masters Swim Meets are a fun way to challenge yourself while becoming a better swimmer. Since you already swim as a triathlete, you don’t need to get any new equipment. Learning all 4 strokes will help your technique and feel for the water. Swimming in a Masters meet is low key and anyone can join.
You’ll find all levels from past Olympians to those who need to rest for a breath at each turn. And as an adult you can swim as short as a 50 yard race! It’s harder than it sounds!
Road Running Races:
In Colorado, there is a 5K pretty much every weekend throughout the year. You can also find several 10Ks and half marathons each month, as well as at least one marathon each month.
This is a great time to work on speed since your legs won’t be as tired from your bike miles you put on while triathlon training. If you want to move up to the next distance in triathlon, incorporating longer runs is a great off-season goal.
Strength Training, Core Work, Yoga, Meditation:
All the important components that make up a well-rounded athlete that we tend to minimize or skip all together during our season because let’s face it, we all only have 24 hours in a day!
Get back to the basics. Make these activities a habit now so that when you start adding back in your swim, bike, and run next season, you can continue to practice them. You may not be able to spend the same amount of time on them as you do during your off-season, but you can find ways to incorporate them in smaller increments throughout your training week. I am actually doing a yoga streak this month!
Plan Next Season:
This is my favorite off-season activities. Set goals, choose your races and prioritize them. Register for as many as you can and for the ones that aren’t open yet or you don’t have money for, put them on a list in order of importance with the registration opening date and price and put the list where you can see it daily. Post your goals and tell a trusted friend or two to keep you motivated throughout the winter.
Hope your Winter is super duper fun and you come back next season refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to ROCK!!!
Stay in touch!
If you want help planning your season, reach out! I LOVE PLANNING!
See you soon!