It has been a long season. You did the winter miles in the base period. You did the hard yards in the build period….
You knocked it out of the park come race time – pushing yourself to the limit and achieving that elusive PB
So why won’t you rest now!!!!
I suspect this is a conversation that a lot of coaches have with their athletes at this time of year. However sometimes athletes don’t trust coaches and think we are conspiring to unravel all the hard work we jointly worked towards …..
Not the case – but I get it – I am an athlete too. I too have that paranoia that I feel fitness leaving my body like a jilted lover slamming the door angrily behind them threatening never to come back (or return my smashing pumpkins CD collection … long story .. another blog maybe)
So with my coach’ hate on I will compromise (a little …. Pretty sure my squad members will disagree) and offer advice on how an off season athlete could benefit from (or at least occupy themselves with)
#1: Reflect – look back on the season – write down what worked, what did not work and which races went well and why?
That way when the coach is good enough to have the kick off conversation – you are working on improving from last year
#2: Plan – dream up a stretch goal, a race schedule, figure out how you can shake up your training …
Again your Coach will love you having this clarity for when you have the talk!
#3: Try other things – do mountain biking, cycle cross, mountain running, spin classes – at the very worst you get the endorphin buzz you are secretly craving, at best you find something you can use in your cross training when the season starts proper
#4: Get analysis done – it might be a perfect time to have some swim analysis, bike fit or gait review done and get a plan of action e.g. drills, bike set up changed completed/started before the main season starts
#5: Read – if after your reflection – you identify a particular flaw e.g. mental toughness, nutrition, pacing – well then immerse yourself in the pool of knowledge that is the internet – knowledge is power
#6: Connect with non Tri friends – remember them – the college buddies, the work colleagues who you have fobbed off too often with catchy phrases like “I’d love to but long bike in the morning” or “Next time got my 400m TT with the club” – so call them up – agree to watch that game, dinner or beer (just don’t take no for an answer when they mention baby sitters etc …. This is a limited window)
#7: Get the infrastructure in place – if you plan on upgrading to a smart trainer and using zwift – do not wait until there is a session in the plan. Trust me it will take ages to get it right .. mainly as you are under pressure to install/sync everything – but this can be easily done on a last Sat/Sun afternoon where you can take your time.
#8: Prepare the body (gently!) for another season – hit the gym, do some S&C or yoga/pilates – these will help when your coach allows you to get back to battering your body properly.
#9: Put the small changes in place now – if diet or lack of sleep was one of the reasons you feel you did not hit the heights you hoped for – start getting into good habits now when you do not have the pressure of a full training week on you
#10: But for Gods sake REST – at least for a while – you need this mentally aswell as physically … I always want my guys to come back hungry for the next season when we try to push on to the next level … have a lie in … it will not kill you (in fact in the long run it will only make you stronger!)
See you for the next base period … it will be here sooner than you think
Steven Moody has starred in the corporate rat race but found his greatest source of satisfaction came from his 15 years of endurance racing including numerous IRONMAN finishes and world championship qualifications
Realising this fact, Steven abandoned his cubicle and moved into full time coaching. Steven is now Ironman University, Triathlon Ireland and Training Peaks level 2 certified and in 2017, was awarded Triathlon Ireland Coach of the year.
Browse his pre-built training plans here or if you have queries on personal coaching/ customised training plans you can contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org