Winter can be a brutal time to train. It is cold and wet, the motivation is low, and as there aren’t any triathlon races happening the fitness can become stagnant.
However, you can flip this on its head!
This is a great time to build a winter foundation and focus on different aspects of your triathlon that you wouldn’t normally do “In-season”.
Read about the top 6 things Evolve Triathlon Coaching suggests you work on during the winter, so you stay on top of motivation and keep improving.
1) Swim focus - Get in the pool more often. It is cold outside, so why not be indoors more and focus on the swim? Doing 1-2 more sessions a week during winter will help immensely come race time. “Tip”: Time trials every 4-6 weeks will help you to know your progress and to stay motivated.
2) Mountain biking - This is very underrated! Mountain biking helps with all your technical skills on a bike. This is a great time to touch up those handling skills. You also don’t have to be out there that long; a good 60-90-minute hard work out on the MTB is all you need to keep the fitness on the bike up.
3) Gym - Prepare for the race season by building up your muscle strength. Numerous studies have shown that weight training can help improve cycling and running economy and reduce injury risk.
4) Cross Country – First off, I am talking about cross country running. With soft surfaces and lots of hills it provides brilliant, low impact racing during the winter. This is much better for the muscles than a flat running track. Your pace is usually more a high tempo and not flat out. Secondly, cross-country skiing! A great cross training sport to help strength endurance in the off season. If you have ever been, you will know how hard this can be!
5) Put some weight on! Yes, you heard me – Putting weight on during the off season can help with injury and training adaptions. Say if you are 75kg in race season, you then put on 3-4kg in the off season, you are teaching your body to recruit more muscle fibers. Once you go back to your race weight of 75kg, thanks to improved recruitment, your body doesn’t have to work as hard with the same amount of muscle fibers.
6) Zwift racing – Now we are in a time where we can race indoors and chat to our friends on the other side of the world, all while racing them in the French Pyrenees. An amazing idea that has helped a lot of us during the COVID pandemic. You can work on any aspect of your riding apart from technical skills on Zwift. It will keep your data stored so you can improve your FTP next time.
Remember, winter doesn’t have to be de-motivating and grim. My suggestion would be to work on areas that you may not be doing much of over race season.
Accept the bad days so that you can look forward to the good days!
Are you after some guidance in your training? Needing a training program?? Check out some of our many plans from running a half marathon, through to your next Full distance triathlon. Triathlon Plans | Evolve Triathlon Coaching