Triathlon Training in the Off-Season – Part 2

Earlier this week I asked you to spend some time reviewing the triathlon season just past and make a note of the successes and failures you experienced.

Now is the perfect chance to identify any room for improvement in your training and racing and look to improve it.  And, by the way, if you can’t find any room for improvement then you aren’t looking hard enough!

Become More Efficient

If you become efficient at what you do, you get to go faster without more pain. Being efficient at swimming, running, and cycling can be learned. In swimming, practice a more efficient swimming technique instead of spending too much time working on your traditional strokes. More swim drills and fewer lengths of the pool. The same thing with running, rather than spend hours and hours running laps, practice on drills instead to build explosive power and running stride efficiency. Spinning at a faster tempo on your bike will make you a more efficient biker. Form is important as well. When you run, swim, and bike make sure that you are focusing on form. The off-season is a great time to work on the way in which you pedal on your bike, rather than just doing hours of monotonous heart rate based training on your indoor trainer. It might also be a good idea to have someone watch you as you train because they can act as your critic for every training session.


Hit the Gym

Lifting weights is one of the most efficient ways to build muscle mass and lose body fat at the same time. When planning on lifting weights its best that you make use of a training program that is subdivided into several areas. Typically, you must start with lighter weights and progressively increase your reps until you are able to do thirty reps. If possible try doing three sets with 30 reps each. Check out some of my triathlon strength training advice elsewhere on this site for more information about how to structure your weight training.

Buddy Up

If you need work on your speed, train with someone faster. No, I do not mean someone who’ll leave you in his dust but someone who is fast enough to make you push just that little more and go faster. You’ll have the inspiration to go faster and may be able to pick up one or two little technique tips along the way.


(Easy, but) Train Just a Little More

Squeezing an extra training session each week will help you go faster. This is because extra training sessions allow you to create a more developed base thus enabling you to go faster than usual. It does not have to a full session but adding 30 minutes more to your regular training time can be beneficial. The best part is by adding extra time to your training you will be burning more calories.

Train on a New Route or Terrain

Challenge your body to go faster by mixing up your run path or bike route. If you are going to ride on an familiar course then make sure that you run on a path that is more challenging. If you are running on an even surface then try riding your bike on something more difficult. If your goal is to build speed then challenge your body every time you train by mixing up your route or course.

Spice Up Your Winter Training

If the snow on the pavement is too thick for you to ride your bike then do something else. Instead of you regular bike and run training why not go cross-country skiing, ice skating and even sledding. These activities are not just fun but it also helps keep your body fit throughout the winter season. By adding variation to your training program, you are constantly challenging yourself to do better. This also opens your mind and helps you prepare better for the upcoming season.

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