Now Is The Time...

Most athletes know exactly what they need to do IN SEASON, but what do you do during the off season?

Here are a few pieces of advice to help you:

1) Get a bike fit.  This is the time of year to adjust your position on the bike.  You don't have any sense of urgency here, so now is the time to play around with saddles, crank length, seat height and drop.  Your body will have plenty of time to adjust.

2) Reflect and LEARN on last season.  It's easy to just focus on what lays ahead.  While that is always a good thing to do, it's important to make sure that you learn from the season that just ended.  Ask yourself the following questions:

- What parts of training were you strong in and what was a struggle?

- What schedule set-up worked the best for your life and your body?

- Did you find that you enjoyed or excelled at one race distance over another?

- What went well during your races and what didn't?  How could the negatives be corrected?

- Did you train with power or HR? Would it have helped you?

- When during the season were you most motivated and when were you least motivated?

3) PLAN!  This is the time to plan for the coming season.  Talk with your coach and pick races that suit your strengths. Examples:

- Weak swimmers should pick wetsuit legal races.

- Strong cyclists should pick tougher bike courses.

- Lighter riders who are strong, should pick hilly courses.

- Bigger athletes should pick flatter races where they can use that as an advantage.

4) Get in the weight room!  This is the time to work on those muscle imbalances, strengthen the core and work on your functional strength.  In season strength work may not be very valuable in terms of the return you will get for you time, but out of season certainly is.

5) Set goals and objectives for racing and training.  Regardless of what they are, make sure that they are FUN and that they light a FIRE inside of you! Also, keep in mind that the ultimate performance goal each year is progression.

6) TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE, PARTNER & FAMILY. Ask them to evaluate the year...what went well for them and what didn't.  What could be better?  Think about vacations, travel, schedule's, kids, etc... Involving them and making them a part of the process will go a long way when you need to spend a saturday out on the bike and it will only add to their excitement on race day.

7) Spend time doing other things each week. Even though your "downtime" may be over, it doesn't mean you have to go back on the straight and narrow.  Designate time each week towards other activities outside of the sport... Make sure you are not too tired or too sore and definitely don't talk "shop" with whoever you are with. BE PRESENT!!!

The above tips may seem simple, but they will help ensure that this lifestyle of triathlon is one that sticks for a long time, that your flame stays lit and that everyone in the household feels like they are involved. If you have other off season tips and tricks, feel free to post them below!!


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