Experience the Difference

How to make your season in your off season

As the racing season for many age group athletes nears an end and temperatures dip it is hard to maintain motivation to keep a consistent training regime. With no races in sight and the warmth of bed seeming so much more appealing then diving head first into a pool at 5am many triathletes fall off the bandwagon, let their bike gather dust and trade their running shoes for slippers. However, the off season is the most critical time for triathletes to reset, reflect, refocus and set goals for the next season. To ensure their goals are met when the new season rolls around it is important to begin building their base through the off season.   

End of season self-analysis and next season planning

With the completion of the Straddie Salute triathlon festival on North Stradbroke Island, Saturday 20th April and for you in WA the Busselton 70.3 7th May, it has signified the end of the triathlon season in southern Australia.

Although off season for some signifies a time to hide your swim gear in the back of the cupboard behind the brooms and umbrellas, forget about your tyre pressure and charging you Garmin before the mornings ride and retiring your runners it is actually an opportunity for all athletes to reflect on their season’s performance. All you triathletes out there have now been handed the opportunity to self-analyse your own performances and review your development throughout the season just completed. It’s critical to let your body and mind have a break to freshen up. Within that time decide what you need to do in order to improve, or change in your training, mindset and technique and in turn output, by the commencement of the new 2017/18 season.

The off season is THE time to make some subtle changes to everything you did in the past in order to make you a more rounded athlete that will give you better results into the next season.

The list of things to consider are:

 

Overall health

If you desire to be a better athlete than you currently are, then you will need to address you overall health as this will ultimately determine how well you recover from training and racing and long term, how long you will remain in the sport.  Analyse just when it is that leads into the time that you seem to break down, get sick or simply lose that desire to do what is required.

 

Swim strength/speed

What specifically is affecting your performance? Technique or fitness or is it your lack of love of swimming? If you can identify what is holding you back in swimming what can you do to work towards changing your mindset and skill level around swimming? Most local pools will run an adult squad alongside their junior squads which are run by swim coaches. Not only can this be a fantastic may to improve your swim technique, strength and speed but it can be a great source of motivation to make those 5:30am dive ins more pleasurable and make you accountable for your swims.

 

Bike skills and strength

Do you know how much time can be saved with better bike skills? Cornering, gearing choices, remaining as aero as possible for as long as possible. Think of this, if you are in an event that has 20 corners in it on the bike leg and you improve your corning technique you can expect to save at least 1 second (or more) each and every corner, you have just improved your bike time by at least 20 seconds with no extra effort.

 

Bike fit

Having a professional bike fit WILL give you the most effective ‘bang for your buck’ as far as comfort and strength and then, being able to run off the bike much more efficiently than anything else. Bike fit alone will save you time and make you more comfortable in every aspect of cycling and/or triathlon. EliteSportz uses the world renowned Retul 3D bike fit technology system to place you in the best possible position based on all of your personal anatomical variables that are unique to you.

 

Run speed and technique

What hurts when you run and do you know why? All aspects of endurance sport are improved with consistency of training with a purpose and progression plan, no more so than with the run. Without a very clear and precise progression plan, it is the run that will likely give you the most injuries in the first few years of training but with attention to your technique and strength over time the run will likely be the most enjoyable for many years to come.

 

Transition training

I cannot count the amount of times I have seen an athlete miss a podium spot by 30 seconds or less. Then later I look at the race splits and see that that same athlete spent longer in transition than the others in their race.  Work on your transitions and you will gain some ‘free’ time in your next race.

 

Race planning

The importance of choosing races that suit your physiology and level of fitness should not be underestimated. By now you should know what length of race suits you best and enjoy most. Keep in mind all of the other variables as well, terrain, type of swim, time of year as all of these will affect the conditions that you will be racing in.

 

Race scheduling

It is important to always remember that racing too often makes you slower and offers no opportunity to work towards increasing strength and speed primarily because you are continually recovering from a race only then to be preparing and tapering for your next race. Look at allowing time between events to continually improve the things that you have identified as the areas of your sport to continually pay attention to.

 

Race skills

Swim and run drafting, bike pacing, surging – do you know what to do and when to apply these important aspects of a race? Mental work, where and when do you drift in a race? Are you able to re-focus quickly? Are you putting into practice being able to ‘stay in the moment’ with ease?

Every one of the points above requires specific training just as you would swim, ride and run practice, so too do you need to pay specific attention to all of these ‘one percenters’ that go into creating that athlete that always seems to go well on any given day.

Please feel free to get in touch with EliteSportz Specialist whilst you have this personal review/ down time, lets work on what you feel is letting you down, and lets get prepared and plug the gaps so next season is as much fun, with the results you are wanting to achieve?

 

 

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