Sep 17, 2014
So you have had an absolutely fantastic season, you’ve smashed some PB’s, reached new distances that were a pipe dream way back when and effectively, achieved all your goals!
What now? You will be buzzing for the first few days after the end of the season, and then BOOM, out of nowhere the post season lull hits you! You may feel like you have lost your way, you may feel like you have no structure to your training, because effectively you don’t have a training plan to follow for the next few weeks!
Well this is perfectly normal and it is GOOD for you! The end of season is always a strange period but used wisely, is a perfect time to ensure you are ready to hit the training again in 4-6 weeks’ time, in preparation for the forthcoming season!
Following your last race of the season it is important and deserved to have an emotional and physical break from structured training. A few weeks of active exercise, but not training, and a chance to enjoy life is not only good for the soul, but allows your body to recover from a long season of training and racing.
So what now?? We will call this the ACTIVE RECOVERY PHASE! Maybe we could also call this the “Get Out Of Shape” Phase!! Not to the extremes that I know are going through your head but now is the time to let your hair down, enjoy yourself and RELAX! Yes have a beer or two and a slice of pizza! You don’t hear many coaches say that too often do you!
The next 4-6 weeks are a time for your family as well! You have put a lot of hours into your training this year; maybe give a little back to the family bank now.
How about we do this a little more chronologically:
1st Week Post Major Race:
Relax & take in what you have achieved, take the applause!
Drop your race bike off at your local bike store for an of season service.
Listen to your body but if you want head out for a post-race ride max 45mins – intensity is very very low! And NO GARMIN!!
2 Sessions Maximum – Unstructured, very low intensity and only if your body and mind lets you!!
2nd Week Post Major Race:
Start to bring back in a few unstructured sessions but only as you feel you want to!
Recommend swimming but only as you much or as little as you like as this will allow you to maintain feel for the water!
This is the week to reflect on the season – did you make some post-race notes through the season?
If you did, take a look at these notes and see if you can spot any consistent patterns in your strengths or areas you felt you could improve upon. Address your weaknesses and be hard on yourself so that you clearly know where you can make up the most time in your triathlons next season.
Complete some unstructured bike or run sessions as well but again LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Very low intensity. Your body is still in recovery mode as will your mental state! You put a lot into the season physically and mentally, let yourself recover!
Maybe complete a couple of completely unspecific no tri training sessions!
Again leave your GARMIN’s at home; this is completely unstructured low intensity training to compliment your recovery!
3rd Week Post Major Race:
RELAX! Are you starting to see the pattern yet?
So you have reviewed last season, now start to jot down and think about next season. List any non-triathlon key events that will be taking place. Look at which triathlons you want to take on next year and start to pencil them in! Are there any other SWIM/ BIKE/ RUN events that float your boat that could compliment your training for your main goal?? How you structure your goals we can look at in another article but at this stage get them into your diary and let your family know!
Again bring some unstructured sessions in as you feel you want to, still keeping the intensity low though! Is your road bike all working well? Does it need a service before we start the structured work again?
Remember this is still payback time as well! Payback your mind, your body, still allowing you to spend as much time with your family.
Week 3 can also be a chance to bring in some different forms of Active Recovery X Training.
4th Week Post Major Race:
Be honest with yourself at this stage, do you feel ready to come back and train?
If the answer is no, take a couple more weeks. You’ve got to want to come back and train and that stems from having thought through your goals for the forthcoming season.
Ask yourself – this time next year what triathlon goals do I want to have achieved? It may be something slightly different, maybe a Triathlon event that consists of Swim, MTB and Trail Running. You’ve got to want to come back and train!
Think about how you are going to structure your Winter Training, are you going to just fall back into the classic trap of long slow distance that people called BASE training or are you going to incorporate Strength & Conditioning specific for Triathlon, some specific speed work at a running group that will keep you sharp through the winter, or build in some superb group training that will push you against fellow triathletes?
It just leaves me to say congratulations on a fabulous season, be proud of what you have achieved.
Start looking to the future when you start getting that lost feeling and then come and give the triathlon coaching team a call at email@example.com to look for some guidance on how to structure your 2014/2015 season, build your training plan and smash the forthcoming season.
Now go enjoy your Active Recovery Phase!
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