The off-sea­son is the time to pos­i­tively look back on the sea­son just gone and to plan your rac­ing and train­ing for the next. Here’s how to en­ter 2018 men­tally strong

220 Triathlon Magazine - - EXPERT ADVICE -

Once the emo­tions of your fi­nal race of the sea­son have died down, you should take time to think about what went right – and what went wrong – in both rac­ing and train­ing for 2017. This can be quite a tricky process on your own, as we can for­get our fail­ures, so it can be worth do­ing this re­cip­ro­cally with a club mate, train­ing part­ner or coach. They’re more likely to be hon­est about your weak­nesses then you would be with your­self. Re­fer to your train­ing and rac­ing diary and, if you didn’t keep one, make that a def­i­nite goal for next year.

Our nat­u­ral ten­dency is to fo­cus on the workouts and ses­sions that we en­joy. Yet we nor­mally en­joy those ses­sions as they’re the ones we’re al­ready good at. The big­gest over­all gains are achieved by work­ing on your weak­nesses so, again, if you don’t think you’ll be hon­est about iden­ti­fy­ing and sched­ul­ing in those ses­sions, get some ob­jec­tive as­sis­tance: this is where a qual­i­fied mul­tisport coach can be in­valu­able.

The events that you’re in­tend­ing to race next sea­son will, to an ex­tent, de­ter­mine the con­tent and struc­ture of your off-sea­son train­ing. For ex­am­ple, if you’re plan­ning on step­ping up in terms of race dis­tance next sea­son, you’re prob­a­bly go­ing to have to fac­tor in more vol­ume. The ear­lier you can put your plans in place for next sea­son, the bet­ter, as you can tai­lor your train­ing to­wards them and have them in your mind, and diary, for motivation.

Main­tain­ing motivation through the win­ter can be tough and, al­though hav­ing a struc­tured plan through to next sea­son can help, it can also be daunt­ing see­ing weeks of seem­ingly end­less train­ing ahead. So break it up with some win­ter rac­ing. Road and off-road duathlons, cyclo-cross, track cy­cling, cross-coun­try run­ning, and win­ter swim­ming leagues can all pro­vide fun, low key and reg­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion to break up the monotony. [See p36 for more ideas.]

Also, book a warm-weather train­ing camp if you can; this’ll give you some­thing to aim for and a much-needed mid-win­ter boost of sun­shine and vi­ta­min D!

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