It's almost upon us. The off-season. And unfortunately a lot of athletes don't know what they should be doing between their final "A" race of the season, and when they need to pick themselves up and start serious training again.
I've written about the off-season before. You can read that blog post here. But I'll summarize, and add to it, today. So, what should you do when your season is over?
- Take some time off. Two to three weeks is great. You need to rest, recovery, and refresh yourself physically and mentally.
- After that down-time, do some unstructured training. Hit the trails, do some things you don't usually do. Go snowshoeing or hit the gym a little more. Start getting back in the pool and keeping that feel for the water.
- Have meetings with your coach. What went right, and wrong last season? What are the goals for next season?
My previous post on the topic discusses more of these points in detail, but today I'm going to really talk about that last bullet point.
As you and your coach look back on the previous year of racing and discuss what went right, and wrong, it's time to focus on what needs to be remediated. The off-season is the time to focus on your limiters. Not enough power on the bike? Strength work and power workouts. Swimming isn't where you want it to be? Add extra sessions and work on form and mechanics (or whatever is necessary). Look at your benchmark testing (power, VO2, base 100 times) and determine what needs to be addressed over the winter. Those goals your'e going to discuss? They might have a lot to do with what is worked on during this period.
Yes you can work on things during the season itself. But the remediation of limiters - depending on what is being worked on - can take time. Swimming especially. It's best to work on what needs to be resolved (and continue to develop strengths) before the racing season begins.