Thanks to four top-10 World Tri Series finishes, 2017 was a stellar year for the 29-year-old Brit. Here she shares her tips for a strong off-season
Rising GB star Jess shares her top tips for the off-season
1 DON’T PLAY CATCH-UP
Nobody has the perfect winter of training – sniffles and colds do and will happen. If you miss a session, just forget it and move onto the next session. Playing catch-up is always a bad idea and will have knock-on effects for your other training. It’s certainly easier said than done, but for me it’s a no go.
2 STICK TO THE PROGRAMME
I find having a bit of a programme and structure in the off-season really helps. This was especially important when I was working [as a personal trainer] and juggling training when it gets dark at 4pm, which can be a real struggle and pretty depressing. Something as simple as having your training mapped out on a calendar makes it much easier to remember where you should be!
3 STRENGTH AND DRILLS
Use the off-season to hit the gym and work on your weaknesses. I increase my gym sessions from two to three times per week during this time. As I don’t do any run sessions until the new year I spend time working on run drills. I wear drag shorts in the pool, use paddles, do some fly and a bit of IM [individual medley]. This all helps with strength, which carries through to the summer and helps me to stay injury-free.
4 SPICE IT UP
Keeping motivated to train through a British winter can be tough. Try mixing your training up and do different things. I like to mountain bike once a week as it’s good for strength, technical skills and is just something different to the normal road ride.
5 LET YOUR HAIR DOWN
The world of tri can be quite intense, especially during race season. I use this time to relax and do the things I can’t do as much in the summer. I try to see friends and family that I might have neglected a little, go out for nice meals, go to the odd gig and have a few beers.
6 BEAT THE DARK NIGHTS
When I was juggling work and training in the off-season, it was dark when I got home. Instead of running along lit roads, I’d run with a head torch so I was able to keep my usual loops in. However, it could be scary through fields and woods, mainly due to farm animals! I also tried to commute to work as much as possible. This just saves time and keeps you motivated to ride, especially as once you’ve committed to ride there, you’ve no choice but to ride back, regardless of weather.