You are closing in on your last triathlon of the season—maybe you've already finished your last race. At this point, some people want a break. Others think, 'Man, I'm in great shape. I want something else to do...but what?'
As you might imagine, I've got some suggestions for you:
1. Century Ride
Fall is a fantastic time to do a century ride, and there are plenty of rides to choose from around the country, or around the world if you're so inclined. If you've never ridden your bike 100 miles, challenging yourself to a century might be the right spark for your fall fitness needs. Those that have completed century rides before can ride socially or competitively. A social ride might include a group of buddies that have decided to ride together through the entire distance. For those needing a competitive challenge, try to ride a fast century.
2. Sign up for a time trial.
USA Cycling is the sister organization to USA Triathlon. As the name implies, USA Cycling is the national federation responsible for getting USA athletes to the Olympic Games. But you don't have to be an Olympian to sign up for a USA Cycling race. Most triathletes are leery of entering a road race or criterium for their first cycling event, but time trials are not as intimidating and they're a great way to get your feet wet. Time trial distances are often in the 20K to 40K range. To find a USA Cycling time trial near you, check USACycling.org or find more time trials on Active.com.
3. Run a 5K, 10K or half-marathon.
Similar to century rides, there are plenty of running races in the fall and winter. You may want to go long, or longer than you've previously done. Perhaps you want to try to run fast? Either way, training for a run-only event is a nice change, and bolstering your off-season run speed might make a difference in your running speed for the next triathlon season.
4. Run a 24-hour team event.
Most team relays involve 10 to 12 people. Depending on the race distance and specifics, members on the team will typically run three times. The total run distance for each team member changes from event to event, but it's usually some three to eight miles per leg. Popular Colorado races include the Wild West Relay and the Colorado Relay. The Ragnar Relay Series is a popular nation-wide event. The bottom line: Running for 24 hours with friends and co-workers is a surefire recipe for great fun and great stories.
5. Participate in a swim meet.
Swim meets aren't just for kids. United States Masters Swimming (USMS) hosts all kinds of swimming events throughout the year. You can do a distance race like the 400 or 1500 freestyle. You can also consider doing (gasp!) alternate strokes such as backstroke, breaststroke or IM (Individual Medely). Many swim meets have relays as well. There are traditional relays such as a 4 x 100 freestyle relay where each member swims 100 yards (or meters) freestyle. There are also fun relays like 4 x 25 feet first. Each relay member floats on their back and then propels themselves toward the other end of the pool—with feet leading the way. That builds skills!
With plenty of entertaining things to do at the end of your triathlon season, recruit some friends and go have fun.Sign up for your post-triathlon season cycling, running or swimming event now.
Gale Bernhardt was the USA Triathlon team coach at the 2003 Pan American Games and 2004 Athens Olympics. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Games in Sydney. She currently serves as one of the World Cup coaches for the International Triathlon Union's Sport Development Team. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's pre-built, easy-to-follow cycling and triathlon training plans. Let Gale and Active Trainer help you succeed.