All of my races are done for 2017, so is it time to take a break, stop working out, and drink beer?!
Coach Sally: The off-season is a time to identify limiters that could hold you back from achieving 2018 goals. Many of my clients will work on swim and run form, bike fit and endurance, and strength training and flexibility. Bringing some new activities into your schedule is nice to break up the monotony of swim, bike, run, repeat! Mountain bike, yoga, hiking, trail running, etc.
Don’t let boredom lead to bad habits. Find an evening class or start a new hobby. AND enjoy family time at home!
Taking time completely off works for some, but my philosophy is that a healthy body is an active body. You can stay active while
escaping the rigid schedule that you follow during race season! Don’t stop moving.
Weight gain during the winter can add to extra stress as spring approaches and can affect performance in early races. A few pounds is normal and OK, but again, work on eating healthy and appropriately for your activity level.
Periodize your plate as you periodize your training!
Now that the season is over, I can sleep more and eat whatever I want, right?
Coach Sally: Mix it up, enjoy some mornings in bed, maybe another day off each week. And, this a great time to experiment with cooking and food preparation! There are some easy and healthy cookbooks just for athletes.
- Food prep – does not have to include cooking!
- Healthy snacks – less calorie-packed in off-season – fruits, yogurt, smaller portions.
- Training nutrition – you will not need much of this, maybe for endurance trail running and long mountain bikes. Try to get out of the habit of gels, chews, etc……they will taste better in the spring ☺.
I want to do my first Ironman in 2018. If I did sprints, a couple of Olympics and a half this year, when do I need to start training for next year if my Ironman is mid-season?
Coach Sally: An Ironman is a different stress on your body than the shorter distance triathlons and even marathons. The safe and very smart approach is to build a strong base…..starting now. The off-season is a time to focus on core and strength, aerobic base (yes, those long zone 2 workouts). And, if the athlete has a general weakness in the swim, bike, or run then it is time to start working on it.
Bumping up from doing sprint triathlons to half or full iron triathlon requires many adjustments to training for optimal performance. This might be the time to hire a coach!
Skills, drills, form, and strength are building blocks to start stacking now for a successful 2018.
Why should I hire a coach for my first half or full iron distance triathlon? I can just do more of everything!
Coach Sally: A coach can offer support and guidance to any level of athlete. Let’s count the ways!
- Accountability. We give you workouts, analyze your performance, and offer feedback if needed.
- A person who cares how your workout went, what hurts, how tired you are, etc ☺.
- Guidance on workouts, races for the season, and identifying limiters.
- Attention to details such as form on the swim, bike, run, assessments, and workouts appropriate for you and your strengths, weaknesses, and limiters.
- A schedule to follow in Training Peaks.
- Assistance setting heart rate, power and pace zones (depending on level of coaching).
If our coaches cannot help in a specific area, we have valuable resources lined up for you: We can connect you with experts in injury prevention, nutrition, yoga, mental toughness, etc.
Other Off-Season Concerns and Ideas:
Treadmill (dreadmill) running – if you are stuck on a treadmill, you can make it more fun by inviting a friend to run next to you! And, you can do the track workouts on the tread, just convert to miles (ex: 800m = .5 miles). Or, choose a workout from the treadmill program, hills or intervals (depending on the goal of the workout).
Indoor bike trainer
Smart Trainers: They use various software that offers intervals and courses for your training along with fun graphics. Ex: Wahoo, Tacx.
Dumb Trainers: Provide resistance on your back tire to simulate the road. Fine for Z2 endurance workouts, recovery spins, or heart rate interval training.
Power Up Cycling! We have coaches that are on hand to answer questions, to make sure you understand the workout, to offer guidance on form, and to identify weaknesses, bike fit issues, etc.