The "off season" can be a challenging time for most triathletes because they don't have an immediate race on the calendar. While finishing a race feels good, the feeling of “what do I do now?” often leads to athletes doing too little (or in some cases, signing up for too much next season).
Now I do think it’s necessary and beneficial to take a break from the regular structure of the race season training schedule, but using this time wisely to improve key areas of your sport while still feeling like you're taking some time off is key to coming back strong next season.
At the end of the day, consistency is key to success and injury prevention, and this is especially true for triathlon. Taking 2-3 months off from swimming, cycling and running might sound great right now, but think about how you might feel about this choice in the spring when it feels like you're starting over again. There is a way to keep the majority of the fitness you've gained this season up while still feeling like you've had a break from a season of structured training.
But what’s the best way to do that?
For most triathletes the best bang for their buck with winter training is focusing on improvements in their strength (aka resiliency) and sports specific form (aka drills). Obviously, in the sport of triathlon, we have three disciplines to focus on: swimming, cycling and running. All three disciplines require specific strength and excellent form to excel, but for this post, I want to focus specifically on running.
If running is a discipline you know can use some TLC, read on to learn what you can do to improve your run while still having fun and feeling like you still got a break from structured training.
(FYI - Unless you live in an area with a lot of snow, running is great discipline during the winter months because it's cooler and still fairly easy to do, unlike open water swimming or road cycling.)
Tiana Rockwell is a certified nutritional therapist, avid endurance athlete and dark chocolate lover. She believes that by eating REAL food, we can balance our body and reach optimal health and wellness!