By LifeSport coach Jessica Adam
At this time of year many athletes feel they need a break from training which sometimes leads to taking a break from coaching as well. This season may have come to a close and a small break is always recommended for recuperation but there are incredibly valuable training months in the fall that can give you a big advantage next season if you plan them optimally. Unless you are doing this for financial reasons, you may be losing out on some of the best preparation you can get to be set up for the new year. Here are some ideas for the type of planning you and your coach can do so you have a head start on everyone else.
1. Plan a focus session with your coach. Work on a weakness. Choose a sport that you feel you need to improve upon and have your coach plan a 4-6 week intense focus session. This may mean training in this discipline 4-6 times a week while not specifically concentrating on the other two for the time period. You’ll stay in touch with the other two and will maintain fitness while making big gains in the one focused upon. It’s difficult to make big improvements in one sport when training for all three full time.
2. Fall is running season. In most Canadian and US cities, the fall usually has lots of choices for running events from 5km to marathon distances. You can gain some excellent running fitness by incorporating a mini race season of running into your fall schedule. You can gain speed in your 10km for an Olympic distance season or get an incredible base for long distance triathlon with a half or full marathon under your belt already with lots of time to recover and learning from the experience.
3. Try something a little different. A good coach can also plan some cross training in to your schedule. Maybe you want to try cyclocross bike racing, skate skiing, or cross country trail running. Many of the same principles of training will apply to these types of sports and your coach can work those in to the schedule for you.
4. Get in the gym. The off season is a perfect time to build strength which will improve your performance for next year and will also help you to stay injury free throughout the year. This is also something your coach can guide you through for efficient training.
5. Building a base properly. Do you know how to build a base of fitness to see your greatest potential for next season? It can be a lot more complicated than just logging long, easy miles. Let a professional take the guess work out of that planning for you.
There are many other possibilities for off season training depending on what your goals are for next season and/or what you learned from last season. Take a long enough break to feel rejuvenated both mentally and physically and then get back on the horse and set yourself up for next season. If you already have a coach keep them and if you don’t hire one. With an objective eye, they can usually see better than you can what you can do to improve for next year.
LifeSport triathlon coach Jessica Adam has been a coach in Victoria, Vancouver and now resides in the Toronto area. She loves to share her years of experience with beginner triathletes and also experienced triathletes that are trying new distances like ½ IM or IM for the first time. She coaches athletes online all across the country.
If you are interested in working with Jess, write Jess@LifeSportCoaching.com