Temperatures are dropping, days are shorter, races are more scarce... This can only mean one thing: triathlon off-season is here!
While it may feel weird to take your foot off the gas after months of hard training, this time is very important for resting, recovering, and gearing up for next season. While the off-season can seem boring or even make you anxious about losing fitness, it doesn't have to be that way! Use this time to reflect, set goals, work on weaknesses, and come back stronger. Let us share a few tips to achieve just that.
Reflect on Your Accomplishments
First things first, pat yourself on the back for an incredible season! Take some time to look back on your races and training with pride.
Celebrate your finishes, your personal records, and all the progress you've made. Whether you're brand new to triathlon or a seasoned veteran, you've accomplished amazing things this year and should never take that for granted!
Set Goals for Next Season
Next, think about your goals for next season. With some races and benchmark workouts in the rearview mirror, you have concrete information to help set realistic goals.
We recommend using the SMART framework to set up for success. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Following these criteria will help you turn big dreams into defined steps you can take:
Specific: identify exactly what you want to accomplish
Measurable: concrete benchmarks to track progress
Achievable: your goals must push you, but being realistic
Relevant: align with your overall objectives
Time-bound: possible to be done within a specific deadlines
By applying the SMART methodology to your goal setting, you can create a roadmap to reach your aspirations!
Time for some Cross-Training
For many triathletes, the triathlon off-season means taking on a wider variety of exercises. This is very helpful to make exercising more dynamic and fun while keeping you on top of your strength and conditioning.
Don't neglect your swim, bike, or run completely, but you can use this time to round out your overall fitness. Build strength and power in the gym, increase flexibility and balance through yoga, work on technique in your weakest sport, or even try something completely new. The worst thing that can happen is you discover a new passion!
Here are some off-season cross-training ideas to inspire you:
Do a yoga challenge to improve flexibility
Do more strength workouts per week to build power
Take an indoor cycling class to maintain bike strength in a different way
Run for fun at an easy, enjoyable pace. Maybe leave your Garmin at home!
Do the same for swims - leave the tech at home, or join a regular course to improve technique and make new friends
Try something new: hiking, spin class, barre, pilates, pole dancing, crossfit...
Staying active is important, and so is rest. Use the off-season to lighten the load and total training hours, and always listen to your body and take time off. Catch up on sleep, enjoy other hobbies and activities, and spend time with family and friends. Come race season, you'll be fired up and ready to crush it!
The off-season is all about coming back mentally recharged, physically strong, and excited for the race season ahead. Spend time doing whatever makes you happy - you've earned it! Don't be too hard on yourself and trust that your fitness is all there, ready to come back stronger than before once the 2024 race season approaches. You've got this!
If you're looking for the perfect opportunity to do your first triathlon in 2024, apply for a sponsorship with FHTUK!