Have you had a long hard season? Have you already booked a big race for next year? Are you already out there training or have you stopped completely? If you live in the northern hemisphere, then naturally we do tend to reduce our workload due to environmental conditions. Unfortunately, we gravitate towards less intense activity in favour to base training and mainly aerobic sessions. However, let’s consider how to manage the situation without completely shutting down until next Spring.
Analyse Your Results/Season
It’s very important to review your season including your training and racing. Have you achieved your goals, and do you understand what has contributed to that success or failure? Do you have new goals and how is that work in the previous season going to contribute to those building blocks to get you to that World Championship or Ironman race that you have planned for the next year? It’s really important to reflect upon these things because this will give you something to work with in forward planning your next season.
It’s important to get an annual health check or MOT after having done a full season of racing and training or even if you’re planning on your first foray into the sport. You might choose to have a health assessment because of a potential health concern, or you just might want to see how you’re progressing. I advise that you have a health check conducted by a well-trained health professional who is experienced in dealing with athletes. The follow-up is that you will get a a personalised health report along with some practical advice that you can use or provide to your coach.
Take a Break & Stay Loose
If like me your motivation tends to go sideways a bit during the winter months, it’s better to take a little bit of time off and enjoy some of the fruits of your labours. This will give you a chance to take another perspective on your training and identify some strengths and weaknesses in your training and how to improve upon them. My athletes usually take a two to three weeks off and then start rebuilding their base fitness throughout the latter parts of the autumn months.
Prehab & Strength
Prevention is everything and over the years I’ve seen a good number of injuries which are either directly attributed to overtraining or misuse injuries. So, it is essential to identify potential weaknesses that could cause you injury in the future. Once you’ve got that nailed down, a very simple and progressive conditioning program can be added to your weekly sessions and will help you become a stronger and more resilient athlete. The inclusion of yoga, strength and conditioning or even simple bodyweight exercises can be added to your daily or weekly sessions without impacting your primary activities and can enrich your experience and longevity as an athlete.
Try Something New
I always believe that you should try something new during the off-season. The autumn and winter months are the best time that you can do this. There are so many opportunities out there today which will help you in your next season such as cross country, cyclocross, parkruns or even masters swimming. If you’re looking to get stronger and more supple you can go to that CrossFit, Yoga or Pilates session that you’ve been meaning to go to all season. The options are endless and fun, and the opportunity is now.
The Autumn and Winter months don’t obligate you to stop training altogether. It gives you a chance to have a bit of fun and try new things while at the same time giving you a chance to recharge, rebuild and refocus before your next race season. Enjoy!
Why Aloha Tri?
At Aloha Tri, we have decades of experience and the right coaching certifications from Ironman University, British Triathlon (Level 3) and TrainingPeaks. We offer bespoke coached programmes via the Premium TrainingPeaks platform, giving you structure and visibility into your training plan. You can choose from weekly or daily progress reviews, which provides corrective action. We have worked with hundreds of athletes of all ages and abilities and improved their performance, skills and mindset. What motivates us is the “Aloha spirit”, a powerful way to achieve a desired state of mind and body, which we translate into how we coach you. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to maximise your investment in your sport!