It’s now January, and the motivation to train for your the new year is probably at an all-time high. Taking that motivation into consideration it’s important that we structure things in a way which will help to keep you motivated, moving forward/progressing, injury free and most importantly having fun.
One of our most important pieces of advice to athletes is that consistency is the single most important aspect of a training program! Sure it’s nice to see those big monster days every once in a while…but what was the purpose if after completing one of those days you have to take 3-4 days off or super easy to recover?
When we are talking with our athletes we stress the off-season is a time to work on a weakness you may have (maybe swim/bike/run/strength), while not forgetting the other aspects of your sport. One important piece is to make sure you’re doing things which are fun! So if you live in a colder climate where there may be access to snow…hit the slopes, or snowshoe, or fat bike, or xc skiing…those are all great ideas to help you build fitness and keep things fun. If you’re in an area where there isn’t necessarily snow and the temperature is milder then hit up the mountain bike trails, do some trail running, join a bootcamp class once a week, do something out of your comfort zone.
For those of you who are super type A…and that’s likely many of you…here is some simple advice. If you want to maintain where your fitness is in a certain area do that sport 2-3 sessions a week, if you want to improve in a certain area then knock out 4-5 sessions a week. Now be reasonable with that…remember consistency trumps all. A greater frequency in a particular sport often has greater returns than the longer duration but less frequent sessions. What I mean is you’re better off running 30 minutes 5 times a week, than doing 2 runs of 60 minutes.
A sample week in the off-season may look something like this:
Monday – Swim + Strength Session
Tuesday – Interval Bike Session + Short Run
Wednesday – Swim + Run
Thursday – Interval Bike Session + Strength
Friday – Swim (or day off)
Saturday – Bike/Run Brick (keep it short…60′ bike/30′ run)
Sunday – **Your choice** Work on your weakness…maybe it’s another swim, bike, run…or something fun with friends/family
Now that may be more than some people are willing to do…and that’s TOTALLY fine!!! Basically, the idea is to make sure you are active, you’re working on your weakness, you’re staying motivated…and most of all…YOU’RE HAVING FUN!
Rick is the coach for Team Innerforce 2019. As an athlete, Rick has competed in countless races, where highlights include 4 overall wins, numerous age group podiums, and 16 Ironman finishes. Rick has qualified and raced Kona 5 times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018) with a PR of 9:21:15 in 2013. As a coach, Rick has worked with all levels of athletes from Ironman World Championship Qualifiers and Boston Marathon Qualifiers to Numerous Personal Best Times from the sprint distance up through the Ironman distance.