It’s The Off-Season:
Tips For How To Stay On Track During The Holidays And Beyond.
Winter is officially upon us, and the multisport race season behind us. It’s easy to stay motivated throughout the summer with goal races on the horizon, but the off-season is packed with holidays, and well, no races. It’s important to take the time to recover and rest from a race season, but many individuals can get stuck in the post-season lull. Getting started again can be hard and the more time you take off, the harder it is to get back going again. Or if you are back training, you might be feeling a lack of direction or purpose. The important thing to remember is everyone struggles with this, it’s a problem that athletes of a levels face. Below are some tips to keep the motivation high this off-season:
Get active together!
Group exercise and spousal support leads to better adherence and commitment to a training program.
Time management skills
Continue to use the same time management skills that allow you to get all your workouts in during the race season.
Exercise intensity and duration
Mix it up to avoid becoming stagnant. Never be too far from speed.
Behavior Modification and Reinforcement Approaches
A cue that initiates a behavior. Eg. Post it notes, exercise equipment in noticeable places, recruitment of social support, exercise at same place/time every day.
Charting attendance and participation
Continue to use your training log and maintain your relationship with your coach.
Buy yourself (or add it to your holiday wish list!) items that will complement your training goals.
Enter some races and challenge yourself for a personal best in an event you don’t specialize in. Other sources of feedback could be: weight, fitness testing, % body fat, etc.
Finding a coach who can motivate and push you will help you have someone to be accountable to.
Cognitive/ Behavioral Approaches
It works! Set SMART goals: specific, measureable, adjustable, realistic and time based.
During the offseason try out new races. For example, cyclocross racing can be a fun alternative to triathlon or cycling. Also, swimming some US Masters swim meets can be a fun way to get competitive throughout the winter. It is important to spice it up your training a bit and will help you from getting bored or stale during the off season!