You often hear this in endurance sports; Every Finish line is the start of a new race!
The End of the race season is around the corner as we look towards the start of the off season; but what is an off-season … and what should it look like for you? Should you keep training as you have …. Will that help you build a lot more fitness …. Will that get me ready and strong for the next race season?
Before trying to answer these questions, we should divide the UAE triathlon community into 2 different groups.
(1) A group of athletes who look towards the European IM season during the summer months.
(2) Athletes who focus on local races, and will be off racing during the summer months.
If you are in-season (ie targeting a long distance race or a series of short distances races this summer internationally then these tips are not for you, at least not right now. If you do not have a race until after the summer season; you are about to enter into your off-season and following my offseason plan will help you stay focus, recover, re-energize and put yourself in a position to be in peak conditions for the next season.
What is the point of an off-season?
After an intense period of racing, putting together a well organized off-season plan will help you with:
a) Recovery: Healing the mind (to prevent burnout) and the body (to prevent injuries).
b) Reflection: It is a time to reflect on what went right and what went wrong. Work towards modifying your plans in order to evolve your performance.
c) Strength: It is also a time to develop your strength to improve performance and be less injury prone for when you start to ramp up training again
d) Skills: Work on specific skills you may lack or simply want to improve. This is generally tough to do mid-season when your fatigued and focus in building fitness.
Overall, your offseason plan should help you build a solid foundation for when the season comes around. You will be stronger physically and mentally and ready to receive the load that comes with a training program.
How should I organize my off-season?
I generally look at the offseason in 3 general phases.
Over the next 3 articles we will share more details and dive deep into each phase sharing BR’s top coaching tips.
What if I chose to do nothing during off-season?
In case you completely take the offseason off, regardless of the sport you practice, you will likely find yourself starting the new season having erased everything your build the prior season. Athletes who completely stop for a period of several months should expect:
a) Drop in fitness. Erasing all the gains earned during the previous season
b) Loss in motivation. Starting the process from scratch; going through the same struggles you had when it comes to building up your fitness and improving or adding new skills.
c) Mid-season blues as you see no change in performance and race standings.