When should you end your triathlon season?
When to end your triathlon season...
For many, the choice as to when to end your season is an easy one. Your A-race is fairly late in the season, and afterwards it seems logical and sensible to take a well-earned break. Not so simple when your main event of the season is over by June or July! What happens then? Here are a couple of pointers that should help you decide when to call it quits.
|Remember you race because you love it! If the joy starts fading, it might be time to take a step back.|
During your season you should be motivated to train and excited to race. Warning bells should ring if you no longer feel like this! Tiredness, lethargy and boredom could be a signs that you have tried to string your season out too long.
Fitness and Form
Throughout your season you should be on form and performing well. This should peak at your A-race, but if your A-race is early in the season, then you might well be able to get back up to good form again a couple of months later. If you start to see results continuing to dip this could also be a sign that you are ready for a well-earnt break.
Have a look at your race schedule. Are there any events later in the season (but not too late!) which can act as a 'B' race for you to aim for? If you can choose one to end your season with, it will make the training in the lead up to it more enjoyable, and will prepare you mentally for the season finishing straight afterwards. For more information about how to peak twice in a season, read this blog by Coach Chantal.
|Ed took months to recover from Kona... and that was just the after party!|
What to plan for afterwards?
Have at least 2 weeks of complete rest. It is so important that you take a psychological and physical break from structured training straight after the end of your season. This will give your body a chance to repair any niggles or injuries, and give your head a chance to refresh itself.
Choose a few ‘fun’ events over the winter. A trail run, a cyclo-cross event, a distance swim, a local duathlon- there are so many options out there! Keep yourself interested and enjoy a bit of something new over this period so that when you start your season again you are raring to go.
Plan a stability/strength and conditioning programme. The off season is a great time to find out where your weaknesses are and address these before the next season. There will be plenty more articles on this topic to come, so keep your eyes peeled for those.
Get your swim technique sorted. This is another fantastic use of the off season, and will reap huge rewards later in the season. Getting some video analysis done, along with some progressive technical swim sets should set you off in the best direction.
Remember, it is far better to end your season early on a high and get stuck into your off season than try to cling on as long as possible.