Determining Your "Off Season"


Posted by Coach Liesl Begnaud

For many triathletes, the racing season is dictated by the weather. The cooler weather of fall comes and there are fewer and fewer local races on the schedule. You might set up your bicycle trainer at home or join the local gym with an indoor pool or maybe you are gearing up for cycle cross season. Your coach may shift your training to include more strength training and yoga. In any case, your focus from swimming, biking, running and racing shifts. You prepare for the “off season”. Yet, for many who live in warmer climates there never seems to be an “off season”. 

As a coach and athlete, I split my year between Colorado during the summer and fall and Florida during the winter and spring. In Florida, the racing season is still going and I ride my bike, swim outside and run outside all winter long. In fact, I reverse my training season. I don’t train or race well in the heat and prefer the cooler weather. I am gearing up to race in Florida over the cooler months and lessened my training during the summer months. I spent my summer hiking and doing core work with Pilates in my “off season”.

While my athlete friends in Colorado were gearing down with the last triathlon race of the season that same race in September was my first race of my season.

Each athlete, whether new to the sport of triathlon or a seasoned veteran, needs a “season off”. The time of year is up to you!

This does not mean you stop exercising or training, but it means you shift your focus and lay off the intensity of training. Try something new during your off season. Give your bike a break and try on a pair of snow shoes or skis.  Work with your coach and determine one or two different aspects of a sport to focus on.  Maybe you want to improve your swimming so you take some lessons, or you start a strength training routine to help improve your run. The off season is a time to recover from the intensity of a training and racing season, reconnect with friends and family and re-charge with different activities.  

When is your off season? What will you be doing?

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