Tri season is rapidly coming to a close and I find myself pondering what to do in the off-season. Will I spend countless hours on the trainer and in the weight room? Will I bundle up and ride and run in the cold months? Will I get complacent about the past season and back way off training? These all could happen, but I think that if you develop a strategy for the off-season, you can go into the next season stronger than you ended the past season.
Take these steps to develop off-season training plan:
1. Evaluate your year. What did you like about it, what didn’t you like about it?
2. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Determine what makes you weak or strong in these areas.
3. Look at each race individually and determine if a certain course gave you more trouble than another and what made that course different.
4. Set goals for the next year based on improving your weaknesses and maintaining your strengths. Be realistic about your goals and try to set goals that you have a chance of reaching or at least coming very close.
5. Set aside workouts to focus on technique for swim, bike and run. Many times in the off-season, we think about just trying to maintain what we have achieved during the year and basically just go through the motions. This year focus on technique in each event. Improving your technique could save you more time than training hard.
6. Start planning your race calendar for next season and decide which races will be your big races. Sit down and decide which races you will race and make some of them your priority.
7. Identify your motivation and objective for the following season. Make sure you know why you are training and making sacrifices. I have talked to several people over the last year who are training and racing, but they are miserable. I think sometimes they have lost touch with what lights their fire and have become focused on being able to check off the day’s workout as being complete.
8. Commit to being consistent. Once you know what you want to do for the off-season, focus on staying consistent with your routines of working out. You have developed habits of working out and you can just as quickly develop habits of not working out.
9. Make sure that you are still having fun in the sport. There is nothing more disappointing for me than seeing someone who is out on the race course and not living up every minute of the experience. Don’t get me wrong. I love to set a new PR, but on the other hand, it is just as important for me to savor each minute of the race.
10. Continue to believe in yourself. You may have had some disappointments for the race year, but you still have to believe in yourself. Try to remember the first day that you decided you were going to train for a tri. You have made improvements and attained goals that seemed unattainable at the time, but now they are just accomplishments that you might take for granted.
By using the above steps, I truly believe you can put yourself in a position to have a great tri season next year. Sometimes we forget where we were going on this journey, but with a little attention to what we have learned over the last season we can learn a lot about ourselves.
The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. - Vince Lombardi
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