The Challenge Plan
Athletes finishing the season without significant accumulated training and fatigue don’t need a long training break. Beginner and recreational triathletes fall under this category. With fewer lifetime hours of triathlon training, these athletes benefit from continuing their development in the off-season sooner. Taking time away from the race season training routine while keeping an eye on triathlon-specific improvement is ideal. With this off-season plan, the challenge goal is a nice carrot dangling in the immediate future. With races months away, a short-term goal is motivating, as it creates more immediate urgency in training. The structure of this challenge should match any gaps in ability in triathlon.
SOME IDEAS INCLUDE
• Swim, bike or run every day for 30 days (frequency focus) • Set a large target mileage focus for a month for one of three sports (for example: average 10 km swimming per week for a month) • A strength challenge such as five minutes of
planks every day for 30 days • A mobility challenge like 30 minutes of
dynamic stretching every day for 30 days • A mental training focus of 15 minutes of
meditation every day for 30 days
This block should be challenging but not exhausting. Starting your pre-season triathlon training resting from the off-season is not beneficial. The challenge should address a weakness, have a defined measure of success and not risk injury or create significant fatigue.
Triathlon training is repetitive, so being flexible and creative during the off-season is a great way to fight burnout while making progress. Training doesn’t have to be rigid and serious all year long. Add some creativity with one of the above plans and start 2018 ready for a strong season.
Melanie Mcquaid won Triathlon Canada’s Multisport Athlete of the Year award after winning the ITU World Cross Triathlon Championships in Penticton, B.C., last year.