Your season has ended, you've (hopefully) taken a little time off and the holiday season is quickly approaching. This can only mean one thing. The triathlon offseason is here.
Think of the offseason as a new beginning and prime opportunity to start working toward your goals for next year. Are you going long for the first time? Do you want to set a new PR or land on the podium?
Whatever your aspirations, here are a few things you can do to prepare for excellence next season.
Get a Coach
The quickest way to see improvement is to get a coach. It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned triathlete or a complete newbie. There is no question. Getting a coach is the best investment you will make. Yes, even better than a fancy new bike, set of race wheels or power meter.
This is the perfect time of year to start working with a coach because you will have plenty of time to prepare properly for next year's "A" race. By starting now you'll be able to work with your coach to improve your limiters and also implement a strength conditioning program. Being proactive will pay off big time!
Having a coach is an educational experience and takes the guesswork out of what you need to be doing. Also, assuming your time is valuable, a coach will ensure you are training efficiently and maximizing the time YOU have available to train.
Hope is not a strategy. Make the investment in yourself and prepare for an incredible season.
Work on Your Biggest Limiter
Everyone has a weakness. And no one really likes doing things they're not good at. However, the only way to improve is to give a little extra attention to your weakness. The offseason is a perfect time to spend a block of training (4 to 8 weeks) working on your limiter.
What does this mean? It means instead of spreading your training time equally between swimming, biking and running, you will spend an extra 2 to 3 days a week on the area you want to improve. During this time you can put the other two disciplines on "maintenance mode."
For example, if swimming is your weakest link, spend a block of training where pool time is priority. No one will improve their ability in the water swimming only 2 to 3 days a week. For 4 to 8 weeks (depending on how much time you have to commit) plan to swim 4 to 6 days a week. During this time, be sure to mix up your workouts. Integrate different swim sets with varied intensity levels and don't forget to spend time drilling and working on your mechanics.