Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tri Talk Tuesday: Off Season

Oh Heyyyyy.

Guess what's back?  Yup, it's Tri Talk Tuesday!  And, the lovely Courtney and Cynthia have asked if I'd like to co-host.  So of course I said yes!  Instead of a weekly post, we're keeping it to once a month on the first Tuesday of every month.

This months theme?  The Off Season.  Which is totally appropriate for about 90% of the people that read this blog because WINTER IS COMING and that means no more racing.  It also means most of us get relegated to the indoors.  Booooo!

As much as I love to race, I also enjoy the off season.  It gives me a chance to rest and recover.  It also gives me a chance to shift my focus to the little things that I don't always have time to focus on while training and racing.   I know many people are at a loss when their season ends but that doesn't have to be the case.  There are plenty of things to do in the off season.

1.  Lift Heavy and Lift Often:   My favourite things to do in the off season is strength train.  I strength train year round but in the off season I tend to lift heavier.  When you're not racing, your body can take the extra physiological load.  There are so many benefits to lifting and off season is the best time to really get into it.  It's a great way to develop strength and power for all three sports. 

2.  Drills, Drills & More Drills:  Off season is the best time to work on technique.  Your workload is less, you don't need to go hard so take the time to incorporate drills into your workouts.  There are fabulous drills for swimming, cycling and running.  Regular technique work will help improve efficiency and that will help improve performance. 

3.  The Weakest Link:  Most of us age group triathletes have ONE weak link in the three sport chain.  Take the off season to put more time into that sport.  Mine is swimming.  If I could practice open water swim year round, I'd have it made but alas, I am relegated to a pool for 9 months out of the year.  So, I swim 3-4 times a week in my off season.

4.  It's the Little Things:  This almost goes hand in hand with number one.  As much as I love lifting heavy, there has to be a focus on the smaller muscles and range of motion as well.  I've learned this the hard way this year.   Too many dominant large muscle groups can cause a whole lot of problems.   So while I'm still lifting heavy, I've also added pilates into my life.  It focuses on little movements that don't seem like much but add up to a lot.  It takes care of most of the smaller muscles I neglect when lifting and it helps increase my range of motion.  It also helps you become very aware of how your body moves which is something I never really thought about while I was training.  I'm definitely paying much more attention to my form which is never a bad thing.

Is there anything you'd add to this list?


Courtney@The TriGirl Chronicles said...

I've always been intrigued by pilates. I might just try it over the winter. Might as well, nothing to lose!

Beth D said...

Thanks so much for the suggestion to focus on drills! I know I need to improve my swimming form a lot to get faster and I think the links in your post will be really useful.

Christina @ The Athletarian said...

BOO is right. Indoor training is not my favourite but you've got to do what you can in this crazy Canadian weather!!! I'm excited to start incorporating strength training again. I just feel so much better when I do it and know it will benefit me in the long run [no pun intended..haha].

Jessica said...

This is awesome. As a aspiring triathlete, it is great to know what to work at over the winter. AWESOME to meet you last weekend!

Kristen said...

I’m so glad that you are co-hosting Tri Talk Tuesday. I loved reading all the posts last summer and it really helped me to learn while I was becoming a new triathlete. Now that I have a few under my belt, I might have to link up from time to time. ☺ I would completely agree with you about working on the weakest link, which is swimming for me as well. Too bad swimming takes A LOT of effort over the winter months (cold outside, travel to pool, be cold all day). I’m hoping to join masters. I would also add cross training, as I do a lot of skate skiing and snowshoeing during the winter. It helps keep my cardio up and legs strong!

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Courtney - do it! It's not the kind of workout us triathletes are used to (smaller movements, slower pace) but it's great none the less.
Beth - you're welcome! This is the best time to work on the little things!
Christina - YES. Strength training is a MUST especially when running long distances.
Jessica - it was AWESOME to meet you too! :D
Kristen - you should totally link up! I have a hard time with swimming in the winter. My masters group swims at 6:15 am so I'm getting up in the dark AND the cold. It's very difficult to drag my butt out of bed, ha ha. Skate skiing / snowshoeing is GREAT cross training. I may look at doing more of that this winter. Especially if we get as much snow as we did last year, ha ha.

Amber said...

Great list! I will definitely be focusing on my strength training and my limiter this off season as well. I guess I was fortunate enough to compete o a swim team all through my childhood, my "weak link" is the run so I'll be starting a marathon training plan in December, ready to start putting in some miles ;)

Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! said...

I started back up with my Pilates class a couple weeks ago and I can already notice a difference!