After months of hard work you finally finished the big race and the next question is now what?
The offseason is a time for reflection, recovery, and returning to fitness. Now is the time of year that athletes start to look ahead to the next season. “What races do I want to do, what challenges inspire me?” This is a great time to have that conversation with someone who can give you knowledge on what is best for you to accomplish those dreams. Planning ahead and setting long term goals is essential to having a successful race season. Now is also a great time to reflect on not only the highlights of your season but also the areas for improvement.
Living in the midwest the offseason can be a time when it is easy to relax, hit the snooze button and fall into unhealthy habits. This is a time to really focus on continuing to improve on all the fitness you have gained over the last year and find new ways to challenge yourself. Whether that is taking up a new winter sport like Nordic skiing, focusing on strength and mobility to get rid of a pesky post season injury, or dive deeper into your nutrition habits.
Having a winter sport is a great way to challenge muscles that might have taken a backseat during your race season. It also offers motivation and excitement for going into the offseason when it can be hard to get out the door for a workout. Whether it is skiing, fat biking, or snowshoeing many of the same training principles apply to these events as running events, so your coach can help navigate using these events to improve your aerobic fitness. Talk to your coach about new offseason challenges that inspire you.
Functional strength is essential for any athlete, especially runners and triathletes. The majority of the training we do is highly repetitive and often travels in one direction. This leaves our body vulnerable to future overuse injuries and strength deficits going into a new season. Having a strength program over the offseason is a great way to not only improve performance but continue to build your body in new ways. Making sure to get guidance on movements and strength progressions in order to best accomplish your offseason goals is imperative to coming into the next season stronger than the last.
Finally the last thing many athletes think about during the offseason and holidays is nutrition. The offseason can be a great time to find out more about how your body needs to fuel. Whether it is diving deeper into daily nutrition planning, focusing on weight loss or finding what foods your body is sensitive to (MRT). Fuel your body right now to be ready to hit the Spring strong without early season growing pains.
Don’t let mother nature take away all of your hard work, find an offseason challenge in order to crush your early season races