How do you really keep in good shape in the off-season for triathlons?

author : acbadger
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For everyone, the way they stay in shape during the off season is different, so you may have to find what works best for you.

Question

 

Hi all! I’m a pretty new triathlete and finished my first sprint this year. I love it, but now it is getting toward off-season from that and the other running races I do. So, how do you really keep in good shape in the off-season for triathlons? Do you still do the three sports, just not as “crazy” of a schedule? Curious to get a little feedback from those of you who have been doing this for awhile.

Answer

 

First and foremost…WELCOME! It is always wonderful to have a new athlete join our Triathlon family! Congratulations on finishing your first sprint! That is OUTSTANDING and quite an accomplishment!


Now, with the back-patting behind us, let’s address your question—keeping in shape during the off-season. For everyone, the way they stay in shape during the off season is different, so you may have to find what works best for you. But I’m more than happy to give you a guideline, of sorts, and from there, you can mold the workout that works best for you.


I personally recommend doing some sport-specific strength training. It’s easier to get the strength training in more times a week during the off season, than it is to get it in during the race season. Try to increase your resistance training days from 2 or 3 days a week, to 3 or 4 days. Just be sure you are giving your muscles plenty of time to recover (at least 24 hours) from a resistance workout. If you are not sure about what kind of exercises are sport-specific to triathlons, maybe hiring a personal trainer to assist you with this during the off-season would be a wise investment. However, to give you an idea, you want to do more dynamic and endurance type exercises for triathlon-ing. Power squatting or anaerobic (without the presence of oxygen) exercises are not the types of exercises you want to do when you are training for an aerobic (with the presence of oxygen) endurance sport.


You also want to continue to cross train. The off season is the PERFECT time to work a bit more on your ‘weaker’ sport. For some, swimming is their weaker sport; for those people, I would recommend adding an extra day of swimming to their off-season regimen. I would also replace a weekly shorter run (anywhere from 20 to 50 minute runs) with a workout on an elliptical machine at the local gym or a spinning class. This way, you are saving your joints some stressful impact they would normally endure on an outdoor run. OR, if you prefer to be outside for all of your runs, take a shorter run on a trail. Again, this saves the joints of your lower body from the impact of an asphalt run!


Lastly, make sure you are getting in an extra day of rest a week. During the racing season, you may train anywhere from 5 to 6 days a week. Just be sure to add one day of rest per week to your off-season training plan/program and take the time to let your body recover/heal and just enjoy the fact that it is the off-season! Reward yourself for all of your hard on-season training!

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date: October 30, 2005

acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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