There are still many upcoming goal races in the next few months of fall. You’ve been doing the work mentally and physically and race day will be all and more than you expect.
But, don’t forget to start preparing for your Off Season. This season has a lot of names but many athletes have a very hard time with what should be one of the more important periods of their year. It’s a chance to work on weaknesses, recharge and recuperate and yes plan for that next year and your next big goals.
Coach is busily looking at off season ways to keep your fitness building fun and keep you engaged and has many ideas about how you can spend your off season but ultimately it is up to you. What will you do?
Commit to maintaining fitness during the busy holiday season. If typically you start missing multiple workouts as it gets dark, wet and holiday commitments start, sit down realistically with your schedule and make it a priority to hit the majority of your workouts. Note that this does not mean all workouts. Give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up if life interferes. Let your coach know if you need a few extra days off or need help revising the plan to make it work better.
Build endurance in your weakest event. Do you struggle to make it to the pool off season and default to your easy event? Play a game with yourself to give yourself rewards if you make those workouts that you typically blow off because running is easier. Or, find a teammate to go with you or at least to check in with to keep you honest. Use the group workouts to keep your momentum going and hold your accountable.
Build sport specific strength. This doesn’t have to be a 50 minute workout. Take 5 minutes and do 2 different strength building exercises twice a week. Doing short exercises like this which do not require any gear or even any workout clothing gets you into the habit of strength.
Rest and rehab a lingering injury or issue. If you need to take time off this is the time to rest and take the time seriously. If you come back to your sport too quickly, you may just need to take time off again during critical training times to rehab.
Try something new! This is the time to “play”. Try a new exercise class, winter sport or activity you have wanted to try – snow shoe, hike, kettlebells, barre, ice skating……or use the time to get your bike fit and take care of a few details you did not have time to do earlier. Keep it fun! This will make it easier to maintain goals through the Off Season and set you up to be fresh when it comes time to train for something specific.
Plan away! What are you going to work on?