October 4, 2017
Your first triathlon season is over. You are at your fittest and the last race went well so are you planning to roll straight into the next block of hard training? It is easy to continue with the same routine if you finished the season on a high, or perhaps you are worried about losing fitness or putting on weight, but you need time to recover both mentally and physically.
The best way to refresh after the season, whether it was successful or not, is to have a few weeks of down time. This doesn’t have to mean doing no exercise at all, it can be a time of unstructured training, a time to try different sports or an ideal time to focus on technique and skills over all 3 disciplines.
Unstructured training means not keeping to your usual routine. Find new routes on your bike rides and runs. Train with friends or family who you may usually consider too slow! Stop at a new coffee shop on a ride. Try a different swimming pool or swim strokes other than frontcrawl.
If during this period you would like to focus on technique, ideally have someone on hand to give you feedback. Get someone to video your swim stroke both above and under the water. It is great to actually see what you look like swimming but be prepared for a surprise! Ok, so now you know you haven’t the smooth swim stroke of Michael Phelps or Rebecca Addlington. Preferably get a qualified swim or triathlon coach to view the video and give constructive criticism and swim drills to help correct any faults.
The same goes for the bike and the run. They are not only about the miles and the hard sessions. Running economy is often the forgotten factor with many novice or elite athletes. The less energy and oxygen you use at any given pace the better, whether you are a 15 minute or 30 minute 5k runner. Use these few weeks to crack on with running drills. Try focussing on foot plant, postural position and cadence. Run on a treadmill in front of a mirror and again try to get video footage that an expert can analyse.
On the bike, pedal efficiency is vital to ensure you get the most power from each revolution. A smooth pedalling technique will help you produce more power for the same or less energy output. Some well equipped gym bikes provide data to show you any imbalances or inefficiencies in your pedal stroke. However, as many of us don’t have access to these bikes I recommend single leg and cadence drills. Single leg and both fast and slow cadence riding can help identify any weaknesses in your pedal efficiency.
Finally, have a think about what went right or wrong with your season and set about not making the same mistakes next year. Don’t dwell too much on the negatives though, look at the positives such as your successes, how far you’ve come and how much enjoyment you experienced.
Would you like Andrea to be your personal triathlon coach and help you achieve your goals?
Click here for more information.