Even though some of us aren’t done racing yet this year, there’s lots of talk about “the off-season” among Canadian triathletes. How are you planning to make the most of your training over the next few months? What are your plans for next year? Are you going to make any changes from last year, this year? If any of these questions have crossed your mind, you’re in the right mindset to tackle winter training and prepare to come out strong next year. Here are the top 10 ways to make this the best off-season yet so you come back even faster in 2016.
1. Don’t ignore the details
On top of having a training plan, look at the rest of your life over the off-season in relation to your triathlon training. How are you planning to fuel? Are you aiming to get enough sleep at night? These little aspects of training have a huge impact on performance. Don’t forget them.
2. Set goals
Approach your off-season like you would a race or training plan. Are you hoping to run a faster run split next year? Looking to get stronger in the water? Setting goals for yourself ensures you don’t waste time on improving.
3. Try something new
Nothing tried, nothing gained. Are you someone who likes to train solo? Why not switch it up this year and join a tri club? If you want to achieve something you haven’t been able to in the past, that’s a signal you need to try something new. Even if it doesn’t work, you have knowledge in your pocket for next year.
4. Embrace the grind
Without a race in the immediate future, it’s normal to feel like the off-season is never-ending. When you begin to lose sight of the end goal, remember that the mental toughness you’re building through the work you’re putting in now will prove itself on race day.
5. Surround yourself with support
Let your friends and family know what you’re hoping to achieve in your off-season so they can give you a little boost of morale when you need it most. Even if they’re not triathletes themselves, they’ll admire the effort you’re putting in and be there to help you see through to the end when things get tough.
Getting faster takes commitment. Approach your off-season with this in mind and prepare for putting in lots of hours of work. If you miss a workout, make it up later. If you have more in the tank at the end of a workout, give more next time. To be at the top of your game you need to devote yourself 100%.
7. Log your workouts
We’re big on logging workouts because of the proven benefits. Ask any pro — keeping a training log and recording each workout helps you understand yourself as a triathlete better than anything else.
8. Remember that it’s okay to struggle
You’re going to training sessions where nothing goes your way or weeks where you feel like you’re not improving. Digging deep and getting through it is important. No one’s off-season goes perfectly and the tough times make you stronger in the long run.
9. You’re tougher than you think
Remember when you never thought you’d be able to complete a triathlon and then… you did? You are capable of anything you set your mind to. Reflect on past challenges and remember how you managed to get through them.
10. Have fun
This is obviously the most important. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point? Triathlon should add to your life, not take away from it. Push yourself and your training partners, dream big and remember to laugh along the way.