It's the off-season! What should I be doing?
A lot of athletes are in the off season right now. What does this mean and what should we be doing?
The offseason is the base phase of your training.
BASE > BUILD > TAPER > RACE > Transition
Now is a great time to build strength, aerobic endurance, as well as work on your limiters!
Start increasing weights in the gym. Heavy squats and deadlifts are going to build strength to increase speed as well as help with injury prevention. You should be adding in some plyometrics as well to help with explosiveness. Squat jumps! Skaters! 1-foot hops! You will see improvements in swim, bike, and run by doing these explosive movements.
Your limiters are your weakest sport of the 3, this can even be a specific technique within a discipline. Adding an extra swim/bike/run session of your area of weakness is a great way to improve on the specific area. When working on your limiters it is important to remember that frequency trumps duration. It is much more effective to get 3 X 30-minute swim sessions in during the week vs. 1 X 90-minute swim session in.
Swim limiters: If swimming is your weakest sport, then add an extra swim session into your week. 3-4 swim sessions during the off season will help build endurance and technique. These sessions should have variety. Mix them up with speed, endurance, and drills. IF you have a masters or tri swim program available this would be a great opportunity as well.
Bike limiters: If biking is your greatest limiter, add an extra bike session. Mix up your bike workouts with speed intervals (sweet spot intervals, vo2 max, threshold) to help boost your FTP. These bike sessions don’t have to be super long, but they must all serve a point.
Run limiters: If running is your greatest limiter, add an extra run session in! Running is the hardest on the body of the 3 sports so it’s important to keep that in mind. It is important to do a proper warm up before any exercise, but I put a great emphasis on run sessions! All your runs should serve a purpose and there should be a variety. There are a lot of misconceptions that the base period of training is all Zone 1-2, when this period is used to help build overall endurance! Practicing strides, hill repeats, and speed intervals all contribute to your aerobic capacity. Just make sure you’re staying around the 80/20 rule to help with injury prevention.
Have fun during the off-season with some non-traditional swim/bike/run. Going out snowshoeing, skiing, cross country skiing, mountain biking, these all help build your aerobic system. They also help you get away from triathlon for a little bit and will help with burn out.
It’s so important to have an off season because we cannot stay at peak fitness all year long. So, enjoy this downtime. Keep it fun! Come back better, stronger, faster!