Fall finds most triathletes wrapping up their race season and looking forward to some well-deserved rest and recovery. For the same reason that you should build rest days into a week of training, as well as reduced-volume weeks into your training cycles, your body and mind need time to recover at the end of the season too.
This rest period should be four to five weeks within your yearly cycle to help you properly recover from the accumulated wear and tear of in-season training and racing. You've logged endless hours in the weight room, at the pool, on the bike, and in your running shoes; and now you need to take a physical and mental break from your highly structured training schedule.
This is your offseason—a chance to give your body the time it needs to rest and repair following the racing season.
If you have trouble sitting still, you can engage in some light activity—especially if you want to try a new sport. This can help you maintain a decent level of fitness without putting the stress of structured training on your body and your mind. Just be sure to take a few total rest days, without any physical activity, too. Taking a day or two of complete down-time each week is a great way to let your body know that you care.
Alternatively, you don't want to prolong these periods of inactivity for the entire transition period, or you will have to begin from square one when you start prepping for your next race season.
Here are 11 things you can do to help your body get the rest and recovery it needs during this transition period:
- Lose the training log and relax.
- Do absolutely nothing for at least a few days.
- Ditch the road bike and hit the singletrack on your mountain bike.
- Take to the running trails.
- Ride or run with a beginner triathlete.
- Lock up the heart rate monitor and exercise by feel.
- Try something different like yoga or Pilates.
- Take long walks with the family and/or dogs.
- Take the kayak for an easy paddle.
- Stay away from the master's swim group and don't count yardage.
- Sleep in, sleep in, and sleep in some more.
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