Keep Racing1 of 6
Just because it's 10-below outside doesn't mean you can't stay competitive. Many tri clubs and gyms offer indoor races throughout the winter, typically transitioning from an indoor pool to spin bikes and treadmills. And since this format is usually short (Lifetime Fitness's Indoor Tri Series, for example, features a 10 minute swim, 30 minute bike and 20 minute run), it's perfect for newbies or those coming back from injury.
Plus, if you win, you'll be able to score some major bragging rights as the fastest triathlete in the gym.
Get In the Swim2 of 6
Another way to keep those competitive fires burning? Enter a few Masters swim meets. Sure, you may not have mastered that flip turn just yet, but racing a few events can help you improve your stroke and speed, which can ultimately assist you in the open water.
Not ready to dive right into racing? Training with a masters team is still one of the best ways to keep fit and become a better swimmer. Head to www.usms.org to find a group near you.
Hit the Track3 of 6
There's no time like the present to finally nab that 800-meter PR. Hit your local indoor track to see if there are any all-comers meets coming up, then have fun racing the shorter stuff. (To prep, add some speedwork to your running workouts and always properly stretch and warm up beforehand to avoid injury).
Yes, a 3,200-meter race may in some ways feel tougher than a half marathon, but just imagine how fresh your legs will feel when you don't have to swim and bike beforehand.
Take a Spin4 of 6
Invest in a bike trainer and get cozy with your bike. Improve your pedal power and cadence while watching Breaking Bad or a virtual training video (check out The Sufferfest or Endurance Films).
Or, if you're seeking something more social, work an indoor cycling class into your routine, like Spin90, where you ride your own bike on a trainer under the watchful eye of a coach. (Talk to the folks at a bike or tri shop to see if there's one nearby.)
Experiment5 of 6
Try something new! Whether it's TRX, CrossFit, that new Zumba class or Pilates, add a little variety to your workouts. During the offseason, dedicate a day (or two) to something out of the box or that one thing you've always wanted to try but haven't had the time. Or, hit the slopes, go snowshoeing, or charge up the hills while sledding with the kids and call it a workout.
Because, above all, you want to give yourself a break from the intensity so you can steer clear from injury and burnout and be able to enter your next racing season super-motivated--and super-fit.