Off Season Training: What to Focus On?

author : acbadger
comments : 0

Question:

I have just finished my first triathlon season where I competed in two races. I've fallen in love with the sport and want to continue. Next season, I really want to improve so I want to keep in shape and improve my skills during the off-season. Do you have any suggestions as to what kind of training approach I should take in the off-season? How often should I train and how intensely? What kinds of things can I do to prepare my body for hardcore training once triathlon season approaches? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Congratulations on surviving your first season of triathlon-ing!!! Yes, the sport of triathlon is EASY to fall in love with and I’m glad you’ve committed to this new “relationship!”

The off-season is the best time to fine tune your skills and prepare yourself for the next season. That being said…it is also time for you to gain some strength and get a little rest after a long season of training.

My advice to you would be to join a Master Swim class. Most local YMCA’s offer them. They typically have certified swim coaches that will design a swim practice for you and will help you with form, drills, endurance and speed. Some classes will be endurance, some will be speed. Some will be easier, some more difficult. But it’s nice to have someone there helping you with your skills, form, endurance, and mental toughness.

I would also use this time (your off-season) to do some weight training. A big part of competing in a triathlon is strength. You need to recruit many muscles to get you through an hour-long event, so it’s important to train them as well. Maybe find yourself a personal trainer who can help you with some sport specific training tips and exercises.

This is also a great time to refine your eating habits! Nutrition is just as important to the sport of triathlon as, swimming, biking, and running! Once you get your nutrition under control, you are going to find that other things (endurance, strength, etc.) become a bit easier to manage.

This all sounds simple and minor, but the off-season is incorporated into your program in order to let your body rest and recover. Your HARDCORE stuff will come when the triathlon season begins again next year. Take this time to work on your weaknesses and refine your strengths. This is the time of year when you will focus a great deal on drills and skill work.

So as far as intensity, I would work at a RPE (rate of perceived exertion) of 3 to 5 (on a scale of 1 to 10). As for duration, I would work for anywhere from 30 to 75 minutes each workout session, and I wouldn’t exceed 5 workouts a week, as you should have at least 2 days to rest completely.

Enjoy this time, because this is the time of year that can separate the novice triathletes from the age-groupers!

Take care and take advantage of the off-season!!!

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date: September 3, 2006

Author


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!

Author

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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