Off Season Hikes!
The classic triathlete tale. Everyone raced in October/November and is chomping at the bit in January. Believe me, I am no exception. We all love training, that is one of the reasons we are in the sport. We need to remember that motivation has a limit and timing of training is one of the most important aspects of a season. I see it time and time again, when athletes go big and train their hardest in January and February then fizzle out months before their main event. It is good to be excited to train. It is good to be ready to go. But you need to keep your eye on the prize. If you want to race your fastest in June, you need to structure your season appropriately. If you are winning the group rides in January… you might be in trouble. Allow yourself time to ease back into shape. Don’t stomp on the gas pedal and rush the process. If you have been doing this for a while, you know from past experience you can get in shape quickly when the time comes. Do the appropriate training now so that when the time comes, you can build off of it and be race fit at the right time.
What is the appropriate training now? Well, it depends. It depends on what your limiters are, what your time is like and what your goals are. It is very hard to apply blanket statements to this one. I will say, most triathletes cannot go wrong by incorporating some very mindful swimming, yoga, and guided strength sessions right now. If running is a weakness, running hills is always a win. If cycling is yours, then some very pointed trainer sessions can help (assuming you live in the northern hemisphere).
If you have a coach you should be hashing out this plan with them, if not then find someone to bounce ideas off of as far as where you are now, and where you want to be come race season.
Even if the person isn’t in the sport like a spouse or a dog; the act of saying these things out loud can help get your head around what you need to do. Don’t be flying in February. Be fit when you need to be and your race season will be a success!