How to Tackle your Triathlon Off Season

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How to Tackle your Triathlon Off Season

We are already into the month of November, and by now most triathletes are well into their off-season. I find it typically comes at the perfect time when your mind and body need a break from the grueling training schedule of the season, as well as is a great time to focus on 3 different things, typically in the following order: complete rest, plan the following year, and focus on 1 sport.

Complete rest means just that and I find it is much more of a needed mental break than a physical one. If you have been training hard since spring, it is best to take 1-2 weeks completely off starting immediately after your last big race of the season. This will allow your mind and body to relax, recover, and not feel forced into to having to perform workouts everyday.

During these rest weeks, its time to start to start planning for the next season. I personally like to choose 2-3 peak races and then plot my periodization accordingly. Once you have established most of your upcoming season, it is now time to focus on 1 of the 3 sports in triathlon…typically what I call your “limiter,” or your weakest sport of the three.

I have found this is the absolute best approach for having a successful season and recommend most athletes focus on the sport that is their limiter for an 8-12 week time frame. During this 8-12 week period during your offseason, all of your weekly workouts should be focused on your limiter, and only two of your workouts should consist of the other two sports. To hold yourself accountable, if running is your limiter for example, then choose a half-marathon to peak for during the off-season. After you have recovered from that race, you can then pick up the other 2 sports and slowly increase those workouts weekly, while decreasing your running slightly. I find that most triathletes spend too much of the year training all 3 sports and never really get good at one. Never focusing on your weak link can be a mistake as I have seen the approach of focusing on your limiter help triathletes take time off the race clock, as well as work for every level of fitness from beginner to elite triathlete.