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8 Do's and Dont's for Triathletes Off-season training.
Jason Battle – Head Coach at Performancecoaching.me 

As the season begins to draw to a close, it’s time to consider the changes you’ll need to make to your routine and how you are going to spend your valuable training time, now racing isn’t the main focus.

The off-season is the time for reflection, planning and building the skills and fitness you’ll require to make next year you’re most successful yet. Let’s look at some key areas of interest…  

Do – Take a short transitional rest.

As busy enthusiastic athletes, rest is something we easily overlook, even fearing that our fitness will desert us if we are not training hard every day! Physical and mental fatigue from the months of training and racing will have built up. Take a week or two catching up with the jobs you’ve been putting off or spend some quality time with the family, you’ve earnt it and you need it. 

Do – Use the time to review last season and plan the next.

Start with looking at what worked and what didn’t, ask yourself questions like:

What was outside of my control?
When it went well, why was that?
What would I change about it?
What did I do right?
What did I do wrong?
Did I race or train too much? Too little?
Was I properly prepared?
What was it specifically that limited my performance?
Did I have a clear goal?
What was my “A” race?
Did I enjoy the races I undertook?
Do I have all the knowledge I need to be successful?

Use the answers to questions like these to help you better understand your last season and for planning the line-up for next year’s races and training.

Don’t – Make the same mistakes as last year.

Now you have reviewed last season and have a clear picture of what went well and what didn’t, don’t ignore your weaknesses. Make sure that your training plan and winter training goals address the areas you fell short in last year. For example… if your swim was the issue, join the local master’s session, if it was the bike, dedicate a bike specific block of training in the plan, perhaps join a local club. Don’t sacrifice your strengths but your weaknesses are where you can potentially make the biggest performance gains.   

Do – Consider racing local Cross Country or Cyclocross races. Most areas have well organised leagues and / or plenty of one-off races to enter. Although you won’t be treating them as a priority, it will help maintain a competitive edge and it’s social, fun and gives you a reason to get out training on those cold winter mornings!