Offseason Training and Looking to Next Year

Triathlon racing season is coming to a close. Many wonder how to train, prepare and get geared up for the following season.
Some key topics to think about during the offseason are:

  • Review your entire 2011 season

  • Focus on your weaknesses

  • Plan next seasons races and events

  • Set your long term, short term, and time goals for next year

  • Pay attention to diet and nutrition

When reviewing your season and looking at your current fitness it is important to look at your results and times according to what you had set out to achieve.
Did you hit your goal time for the run portion of a sprint triathlon?
Were you consistent with your training?
Did you finish the race you were training for?

Once you have assessed your current fitness level, weakness become more apparent and setting goals for the next season become easier.

When approaching the off season remember - what you work on should directly benefit your performance next year.

Areas to focus on are strength training, conditioning, flexibility and biomechanics.
Strengthening your stabilizing muscles during the offseason will help reduce the risk of injury to supporting muscles during next season. Also strengthening you major muscles will help to improve your power on the bike and decrease fatigue when swimming and running. Pilates and yoga are a great way to help or improve flexibility. Form work and drills in all three sports will help with biomechanics.
Injury prevention can come from improving muscle balance, strength, flexibility and biomechanics.

When setting goals it is very important to look at the amount of time needed to reach or achieve the goals you have set out. The less time and higher improvement you set on yourself has a greater risk for injury. Make sure to give yourself enough time and an appropriate percentage improvement to insure you get to that goal safely. Improvements are dependent upon amount of training time, genetics, recovery, nutrition and planning or training.

During the offseason training loads are down. You will spend less time training and won’t have many (if any) high intensity workouts. During this time the need for sports nutrition products and carbohydrate for fuel is low. It is a great time to work on metabolic efficiency and train your body to use fat for fuel. As the demands on your body increase during the season than those nutrients become important. Trying to shed pounds now is the time to do so. You want to go into next season without worrying about losing a few. Make smart and healthy choices!

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