When the snow shovel comes out of the shed and fines its winter home on the hook next to the front door, it can mean only one thing “it’s the off-season.” For many of us, it’s time to recharge and recuperate from a long racing season were rest and recovery are essential components of a yearly training plan. However, before you head to the couch, there are a couple of items that need to be taken care of.
- The first thing is to write your goals for next season. Your goals should be measurable and obtainable and well documented so you can refer to them throughout the season. These can include performance goals as well as skill development and nutritional concerns.
- This is also an excellent time to plan next seasons racing calendar. I like to have my athletes break down their races into A, B, C, and enjoy or just for fun groupings. I define an A race as an event that will receive a full taper and have specialized training blocks that are geared towards the specific race course. I like to keep the number of A races on an athlete’s calendar on the low side. For someone new to triathlon it may only be a race or two. For an athlete with more experience, perhaps a few more can be added to the calendar. The volume of racing is also an important variable to consider when adding A races to the schedule. I consider B races as hard training. Generally, the taper is shorter than an A race, and I may use a B race to set up an A race or use it to gauge fitness. An example would be an Olympic distance triathlon several weeks before an A 70.3 or a hilly B race before a hilly A triathlon.I consider C races as hard training with no taper and with the added value of other race participants. If you are new to triathlon, C races are a great place to develop pack skills in the water and on the bike. Hard weekend club competitions could be regarded as a C race. Regarding the just for fun categories, these are events that are meant to have some fun outside of triathlon but complementary to your training. These events might include a trail run, a gravel race, MTB race or an open water swim race. The point is to use this event to break the season up a bit and have some fun. I had an athlete climb Mt. Rainer last July. He enjoyed the trip, and it provided a nice mid-season mental break without any significant loss of fitness.
The time you take to formulate training goals and construct a yearly racing calendar will pay dividends as the season progresses. So, enjoy the time off, spring is right around the corner.Coach George has a passion for knowledge and believes it’s the key to maximizing your potential. I keep abreast of the latest scientific studies, always trying to find more efficient and validated means of coaching my athletes. Knowledge in the form of communication is just as important. George is a USAT Certified Coach, and holds a number of credentials to ensure your race day success.