It’s early November and cooler temps are on the way. Yes, it’s the start of offseason (or whatever buzz word your coach calls it). As I eat my 3 rd piece of leftover Halloween candy today, I’m feeling relaxed and ready to conquer… well, nothing. Sure, offseason is the time to work on your weak areas and to maintain base fitness. For many triathletes it is also the time to exhale and not stress about hitting every workout. Unstructured training they call it. Lazy months to gain weight and lose a little fitness is how I see it.
By going backwards for a few months you’ll find yourself advancing the next year. I’m not a coach, nor have I ever been coached so I’m sure many people will disagree with my approach. I need a mental break, and my body needs time off to recuperate. It wasn’t quite as necessary in my younger years, but once I hit my mid-40s the body started telling me to pause at times.
As someone who has been doing triathlon since 1997, my perspective is that performance is largely about consistent training over a period of years and avoidance of injury. Without slowing down in the offseason, you’ll hit burnout and injury at some point. Plus your family will probably forget your name.
Don’t worry about what others are doing in the winter. Jump into a Zwift race if you feel like it, or sleep right through it. Don’t stress. Do a fun trail running race, or have a carb-laden breakfast with your family. This is the time to relax and remember what it’s like to be a non-triathlete (which 99.9% of the world is). Once the new year hits, ease back into training. Your body will thank you for the down time.