Triathlon season is drawing to a close. The last few races of the season are starting to come around, and for some, it’s time to reflect on your 2018 racing season and start planning for 2019. For others, you may have seen friends online taking on the fitness challenge of a triathlon, perhaps a friend of yours is a triathlete. You want to take up the challenge. However, the season is nearly over, and it’s into off season triathlon training.
Although you may be too late to compete in the 2018 season, 2019 training can begin now! For a beginner, this is the perfect time to plan which triathlon you want to take part in, buy and test out your kit; all alongside starting your training plans.
As a new triathlete, Autumn is the perfect time to start planning your “A race”, building your fitness levels and hitting those training sessions early. See below for our reasons why…
You have a long time to train
If you look up a standard sprint triathlon training schedule (or any other distance) it will usually provide you a shorter time frame for training. However, if you want to give yourself the best chance at absolutely smashing your first tri, then starting now will give you maximum training time. You will have enough time to try different training approaches, see what works for you and what doesn’t. For example…
What is the best way to incorporate training in your working week?
When are the best times for you to train?
How much can you do already?
Which areas need the most improvement?
Do you have a nutrition strategy?
What type of nutrition (energy gels, bars, etc) will give you the best results and when do you need to take on nutrition?
We always advise triathlon training for beginners to start sooner than those that have tackled a triathlon before, to account for any unexpected training surprises on the way. There are many elements to account for, and the longer you have the more effective your training plan can be.
You have time to build your collection of kit.
You may need to buy a new bike, wetsuit, or running shoes. If you start preparing soon, and gradually buy the kit over a long period of time, then you won’t have to buy them all in one big hit. It becomes way more affordable spread out.
As well as this, throughout your training, you will have time to try and find the kit that is ‘right for you’ and wear it in properly.
One or two-piece trisuit?
Which helmet is more comfortable?
Are you going to wear calf guards on the run?
Do you need glide for your wetsuit?
All questions and pieces of kit can be practiced with, to ensure you aren’t including anything unnecessary that will slow down your transition, but you are wearing the kit that will support you to achieve an optimum result.
You can spend more time working on yourself and your goals
Throughout the summer and busy training seasons, you most likely have more company to train with. You may go on group rides with your friends, explore the countryside on foot with your partner, or swim in open water during vacations. In the off-season, you may find that you are training on your own more regularly. The training sessions will be less casual, and more personal for your own fitness. This gives you the opportunity to go at your own pace and test your limits.
Gyms will be quieter before January
Make the most of quieter gyms before the January traffic hits. Around November and December, the gyms empty out, and machines are more accessible. Top tip: Arrange your sessions in the morning before work where possible, or in off-peak hours if you don’t work throughout week-days to maximize this.
Improve your mood
As the daylight hours are decreasing, you are getting less natural light. This can result in your mood dropping; you may start feeling low and lethargic. The endorphins you release due to exercising will balance this out, and in fact, may leave you happier than you were originally.
Top tip: Joining a triathlon club will also result in building new friendships and giving you a group of people to socialise with while you train – keeping you motivated and happy.
Perfecting your swimming technique in the pool
The off-season gives you plenty of opportunities to concentrate on perfecting your swimming technique in the pool. For those that don’t have much swimming experience, we recommend training with a pull buoy, kickboard, and snorkel. These tools will help you concentrate on your position in the water, as well as isolating certain parts of the stroke to work on.
Gym Classes That Will Benefit Your Off-Season Beginners Training
So, you’re sold on starting to train for a triathlon. But maybe you aren’t sure where to start, your motivation is low or the idea of outdoor training gives you the shivers just thinking about it.
Below we have collated a list of gym classes for you to book – these will all benefit your triathlon training, give you the motivation you need to get going, and best of all are indoors.
The obvious indoor alternative to cycling, spinning classes are designed to work on your cycling technique. Each session may contain different strategies to push your limits and build your fitness – be it high resistance cycles or interval sprints. What’s more, you don’t need to own a bike to get involved. If it is taking you some time to find your dream bike, spinning is a great way to build your cycling fitness in the meantime.
Yoga sessions are great for building your flexibility in the off-season. Particularly in the colder months, it’s important to keep your muscles flexible. Read more on why yoga is great for triathletes.
Although Pilates can give similar benefits to yoga, Pilates concentrates more on strength and conditioning and less on stretching compared to yoga.
Body combat/body pump
Both these high intensity classes build muscle and all-around fitness, while warming you up in the process. These sessions are more entertaining than the standard strength and conditioning gym session, and are suitable for most abilities; You can complete it with less or more intensity as per your fitness level.
Winter Training Essentials
Now you’re convinced to enter a triathlon, we recommend the following items to get you started: