Banish Summer blues and prepare for the off season
September will see the seasonal transition into Autumn, meaning shorter days are upon us, also drawing to a close is the triathlon season with the last busy month of races upon us.
Balancing the three disciplines of triathlon means a busy training schedule and we all know that warmer, longer summer days make it easier to fit in the training. When it comes to the winter months time is against us, but fear not, we’ve got some advice to help you stay motivated during the off season.
Before we look at keeping your fitness in tip top condition it’s important to store your kit in the right environment so that it’s ready for you in the Spring. When a swimming pool is the only water you will see, don’t leave your wetsuit folded in a heap in the cupboard. A great solution for storing your wetsuit in winter is to hang it folded in half at the waist over a Dry Hanger in a Dry Bag to ensure it is protected from the sun and anything that could damage it. Avoid using a normal coat hanger as over time this will stretch the neck and shoulders of your wetsuit – no one likes a loose-fitting wetsuit!
Keep a structured training plan
Maintain your routine – When it comes to swimming, cycling and running outdoors don’t be disheartened that your sessions may have to get slightly shorter. Consistency is key, so ensuring that you keep a regular routine of shorter sessions throughout the week will be more effective than cramming longer sessions into the weekend. Remember – fitness is easier to maintain than to gain.
Mix it up – triathlon events will drop off after September however aquathon events (swimming and running) continue through Autumn and Winter. Taking part in one of these races throughout the winter will help you gauge where your fitness is at and will also help keep your focus for the following season.
Make it sociable- Keep a set time and place for your swimming and get some friends involved – your far more likely to show up if other people are going to be there. Discuss and share tips, which will improve technique, this is something that people don’t get the chance to do when ticking off swim sessions during race season.
Make up the miles indoors – It can be a in the winter challenge to ride outdoors due to safety and weather conditions. Solution? Take your cycling indoors – many gyms have Watt bikes and regular spinning classes or invest in a turbo trainer / rollers to keep churning out the miles at home. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with that television series you’ve been meaning to watch for a while, just make sure you keep a fan nearby! If you really miss the fresh air you can dedicate some time over the weekend to get out on the road or invest in a mountain bike and hit the woodland trails!
Keep a positive mind set – such as the refreshing feeling you experience during colder runs – you don’t feel as sweaty or get as thirsty as you do in the heat, plus you generally don’t feel as tired when you’ve finished. Winter also brings the opportunity to try fell or cross country running which will be sure to spice up your running routine – if you don’t mind your trainers getting a bit muddy that is!
For many people, the end of peak season marks a well-deserved break but it’s never longer than a couple of weeks until you begin to feel irritated need to get back to it. So whether you’re looking to taper your training or train intensely during the off season, we hope this helps to keep you motivated.