Coach Sami’s Tips for the Triathlon “Prep” Season

Triathlon season is like cooking:

Make a grocery list = Dream Big!
Organize the food and equipment needed = Plan the race schedule and look at your schedule of life to determine want you can realistically accomplish with all of your other life commitments.
Prep the meal = Get ready to start the “true” training by prepping the body, mind and soul through recovery and less mental stress of a specific training plan (we will help you!).
Cook the meal = Base building, speed endurance or other preparation block of training
Eat the dinner = Race specific training plan block
Eat the dessert = RACE! (and set your new PR)

I think it can all be semantics, but typically every coach or coaching group has a different “word” for the time of year between the ending of tri season and the first triathlon. Unless you live in Australia (which we don’t), that is usually November – March depending on specific races that you have chosen. I don’t really think there is an “off-season”, but instead, a period of time to take a mental break from the structure of training and mental stress of training. But it is still important to continue to “prep” the body and the mind for success for your next season.

It’s time for the Top 10!

1. Work with your coach to establish both short term and long term goals. So often we are just training for the next race or the next 6 months, but I bet most of us Type A personalities have BIG GOALS! It’s OK to think about them now and make a roadmap for success.
2. Commit to technical improvements in swim, bike and run. This is the chance to bring down the volume and:
a. Focus on the swim stroke
b. Learn how to handle your bike in a curve
c. Head to the Computrainer, not just for a workout, but to focus on pedal form
d. Running drills for improved efficiency
e. And so much more.
3. Think about equipment changes now and not during the middle of the season. Are you moving to a triathlon bike, looking at new running shoes, or trying to find those perfect tri shorts…this is the time to experiment.
4. Numerous triathletes decide to run “winter” marathons, but understand this is not necessary for the overall development of you as an athlete. It is ok to set up the body for the next season through strengthening of the musculoskeletal system though shorter runs and carefully applied stress within the run.
5. Swim more and be swim fit! We don’t have to be fast, but we have to be strong and fit to bike and run after the swim. Focus on technical work. Find a buddy and commit to enjoying the pool. Make it social, but get it done and get swim strong!
6. Strength and conditioning work. We’ve covered that multiple times and be specific in your choice. Find the weaknesses and become stronger. This is a long term benefit for you in life! Take it from personal experience…recovering from surgery is no joke and thank goodness, I can do a squat 
7. Focus on fueling and where you feel you can make improvements. Make it a goal to improve your daily nutrition whether it is eat healthier or eat more or eat right. Small improvement will pay huge dividends.
8. Focus on recovery. We are recovering in this time right? If you’re running long get in the habit of refueling within that 30 min window. Take the time to stretch after the bike sessions. Commit to the small improvements and they will become big improvements
9. Start a dream list…Wish list for the events you want to conquer. Challenge yourself and dream big!
10. Lucky #10!! HAVE FUN! We should be having fun all the time, but it is so easy to get lost in the training plan and making the training sessions a job. Be different, stay fit, plan for next year and HAVE FUN!