Off Season (Development) Training for Triathletes

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Just because the triathlon season is over doesn’t mean your training should be. Off-season training is very important and should be a priority for every triathlete. My first word of advice, erase that phrase “off-season” from your vocabulary.

Technically, there should never be an “off-season” – which is defined as a period of time where no consistent training takes place. Think of it as “Development Season.”  Yes, you should spend time resting and recovering, but you should always be doing some type of training. It will just be a lighter training that what you are used to during the race season. During this time, you should be doing more technique based training and focusing on specific training programs. Here are some examples:

Strength Training
Perhaps one of the priorities you’ll want to focus on could be strength training. Incorporating strength training will not only improve efficiency in your triathlon, but also reduce the frequency and severity of your injuries and improve your workout recovery.

Improve Technique
Most triathletes have a technique that could use some type of improvement, so take the time to work on making that improvement for next year. Mastering a new technique takes time, skill and emphasizes different muscles. Making a change early in the off-season gives you months to perfect it and will decrease the risk of injury.


Work on Your Weakest Sport
Take the time to work on your weakest sport. The time off from racing gives you time to focus on that one sport and improve what has been dragging you down on race day. That doesn’t mean you need to spend the next three months running if you’re a weak runner. Do some cross training that will help your endurance, benefit that sport and still keep you in shape.

Remember, the off-season is not just about letting your body recover. You need to let your body take a break from the racing season, but keep your body in the game by doing some cross training and having fun in the meantime.  Step away from the rigorous triathlon workouts that you’re used to when training for a race.  Do some sports that you find fun and enjoy just being active. Use the time to reflect why you fell in love with the sport to begin with so you start the next season with a clean and happy mind.  If you would like help with your “development season” training, contact me today.

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MJ Gasik started competing in the sport of triathlon in 2003 and has completed 12 Ironman distance races including the World Championships in Kona, HI. MJ is a USAT Certified Coach, Ironman U Certified Coach, USMS Level 4 Certified Coach and is the founder and owner of Tri Right Coaching. MJ has coached hundreds of athletes from beginners through elite to personal bests in distances from sprint through Ironman.

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