IN JUST 8 WEEKS! Get ready to have some se­ri­ous fun this off-sea­son and a head­start on your 2019 race fit­ness, by sharp­en­ing your skills and boost­ing strength off road…

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Get ready for some se­ri­ously dirty fun with Der­mott Hayes’ 2-month off-road train­ing plan

If you’ve come to the end of your triathlon sea­son, the wet­suit will be now firmly tucked away un­til next spring and you might be con­sid­er­ing hi­ber­nat­ing for a while… but think again! Okay, so the wet­suit can stay where it is, but this time of year is per­fect for try­ing new sports or vari­a­tions on your nor­mal swim, bike and run. Now is the time to branch out a lit­tle, train with­out as much struc­ture or be­ing bogged down by data, and maybe catch up with friends who have dif­fer­ent sport­ing pur­suits to you. When we train and race we tend to stick to the same roads and paths that we trust, but this can eas­ily breed a sense of se­cu­rity that can also make you stale. So it’s time to hit the trails, get off road and ex­pe­ri­ence the great out­doors.

Swap­ping your TT bike for a moun­tain bike (MTB) and your rac­ing flats for a pair of trail shoes can be truly lib­er­at­ing. The ben­e­fits of spend­ing time on the trails is not purely for a change of scenery but can also be great for im­prov­ing dex­ter­ity and bal­ance, plus it can high­light ar­eas of your fit­ness that might oth­er­wise go un­tapped. Time on your MTB will sharpen your bike han­dling, im­prove climb­ing strength, in­crease aware­ness for gear shift­ing and greatly raise your con­cen­tra­tion lev­els – there’s a new level of re­spect to be had after you come back from a 2hr ride and have fallen off more times than you care to re­mem­ber! You can stick to safe, flat MTB trails or ad­ven­ture into the woods and climb/de­scend to your heart’s con­tent. The abil­ity to try out new routes ev­ery time you go out is much more pos­si­ble on your MTB as ev­ery cor­ner could bring some­thing dif­fer­ent.

Go­ing off road is a beau­ti­ful way to spend your run­ning miles, but in or­der to do it jus­tice it helps if you’re not too par­tic­u­lar about your pace and sim­ply re­lax into the climbs and rolling routes. Th­ese kind of runs can be per­fect for build­ing aer­o­bic fit­ness as long as you can control your ef­forts, but they can also be used as a great way to do hill reps if you can find the right kind of slopes. Just be aware and watch where your feet are go­ing so you don’t roll an an­kle or slip.

And if you en­joy it as much as we think you will, sign up to an off-roader at the end of the eight weeks to re­ally test your new­found skills. Now go get dirty!

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