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Tri Alliance News
CBD Cycles - 03/03/2011

The Triathlon Season is nearing a finish - what am I going to do?!

You will be in either one of two places.
1. You have been training and racing for 11 months of the year and you are HANGING out for your last race so you can have a break from training and racing.
2. You are new to the sport of Triathlon and have just realised you are hooked – but the season is now coming to an end!

Keep reading to find out where you currently sit and how you can finish off your season strong and plan for the winter season.

1. You are hanging out for a break!
So you have been training for 11 months straight, your body is feeling fatigued and you are starting to drop training sessions as you can’t drag yourself out of the bed, or muster the energy to pull on the runners after work. Your motivation is waning, your enthusiasm nonexistent. If you are normally fairly motivated, then this is a very good sign that your body needs a break! So at this time of the year, with only a couple of races left on your race calendar, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a session here or there. You have been training for 11 months already so you are not going to undo all your hard work in taking a session off – if fact you will find that it will actually help you! (Remember recovery and why it is so important? At this time of the year it is doubly important to ensure you get through the last part of the season!)

So if you are feeling mentally and physically tired, take a few days off training. Replace your run with a yoga session or stretching at home. Instead of an early morning swim, sleep in a little later and then do a light strength session with tether band or light weights – focusing on the triceps and lats (your main swimming muscles!) Get an extra massage (or get a massage period if you have never had one!) and make sure you continue with your nutrition to ensure your body is getting the right fuels. After a couple of days off you will feel more refreshed and you will be able to put in a sharp session in the pool, on the bike or run and your body will not only thank you for it – your head will too. Mentally it is the toughest time of the year, so it is important to give your ‘head’ a rest too. You want to be sharp and ready to give your last few race everything to finish off on a good note. The worst thing you can do is finish off the season on a downer, as this does not put you in a good place to restart your training in the winter months.

As soon as the last race finishes, don’t stop your training completely though. The next two weeks are important in your recovery phase. Enjoy some active recovery and mix up your recovery with mountain biking or get out in the bush for trail run/walks. Invite your friends/family who are normally too scared of your crazy training and enjoy a walk/jog with them. Making the next couple of weeks fun (and easy) is the key. Then if you need to, take 2 weeks off completely. Have total time away from triathlon, don’t think about it, don’t read any magazines about it, even go to the extreme to not talk about it. This will then have you wanting it even more when you come back to your training. You want to regain the drive, thirst and passion for triathlon – which will set you back up for the 2011/2012 Season!

2. You have just realised you are hooked on triathlons!
You have only recently discovered triathlons and you have found yourself hooked, only to find out that the 2010/2011 season is almost over! Don’t fret, there is plenty still to do.

Firstly focus on the remaining race/s of the year. Have a goal (or goals) for the race - break it down into disciplines and set goal times for each leg. Or why not step up from the Active Feet Fun Tri to the Gatorade Sprint Distance – nothing like a challenge, and finishing on a high!!

Once the last race of the series has finished, go back and have a look at your times, set them out in a spreadsheet and look at where you can feel you can improve the most. The winter season is the perfect time to work on your weaknesses and you will see a significantly bigger improvement than working on your strongest leg.

This is also the best time to look at your goals. What races do you want to focus on in the next 12 months? If you raced the Active Feet Races this year, then why not make it your goal to race the Gatorade Series next year?! If you have been doing Sprint Distance, why not pick 2 or 3 Olympic Distance Races to focus on. And more importantly, how are you then going to reach these goals/races? Tri Alliance is holding a Goal Setting workshop on Saturday 26 March. If you are part of our squad, make sure you have this date locked in your diary, if you want to be involved, why not contact us to find out how.

To get started on your winter training, go back to the basics, start building on long slow km’s and work on improving your technique (and efficiency). You might also want to consider training with a group of people who have similar goals to help push you through, and there are many drills that can improve your technique in all disciplines. Tri Alliance are specialists in developing beginners in the sport of Triathlon, and during the winter season this is when we focus heavily on technique and strength. So don’t go into hibernation in winter – join in on the fun and improve your technique, strength and fitness.

To help you keep motivated over the colder winter months, also look at entering in some fun runs/rides and events in your area. There are loads of events over the Autumn and Winter months, so why not start planning a few off season races to keep you motivated!

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