Winter Triathlon Training - How To Keep In Shape During The Off Months
by Josh Sprague
When the weather outside is colder than the inside of your freezer, it can be hard to find the motivation to get up and stick to a training plan. Why not just relax in front of the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate? After all, it’s not like you’re going to be doing anything too intense until the summer hits, right?
That’s a dangerous mindset to have.
See, just because you can’t train outdoors, doesn’t mean your training has to come to a halt. Even if you aren’t going to be working as hard or doing anything as intense, it’s important that you try to stay at the top of your game. After all, if you take several months off from anything, you’re bound to get a bit rusty.
But how do you keep yourself both fit and motivated?
Focus on your weakness. Everyone has one portion of the triathlon that they aren’t entirely confident with. Winter’s a great time to focus on strengthening yourself in that area. Find a pool and work on your front crawl, or seek out a gym so you can practice running or cycling. Better yet, do all three - but keep your workouts light and manageable.
Take up yoga. In my mind, anyone who doesn’t take yoga seriously simple hasn’t tried it. Not only does it help immensely with both fitness and relaxation, it can ensure you don’t get too stiff during the winter months - thus greatly reducing your chances of injury once you start training hard again.
Plan for the coming year. Winter might not be the time for intense outdoor training, but it can be the time for planning. Figure out your workout plan for the spring thaw, and determine what sort of progress you want to make in your training efforts.
Consider taking a vacation. If there’s snow on the ground where you are, why not go where there isn’t any? A trip to somewhere warm and tropical might be just the thing to break you out of your winter funk and get you working out again in the offseason.
Go running anyway. Running in winter can be kind of hazardous if you do it outdoors - but with the right gear, it’s certainly possible. There are even January and February footraces you can participate in if you’re willing to look around a bit.
Do some reading. Even if you can’t get out and exercise, there’s no reason you can’t still learn more about exercising. Ask for some advice online, pick up some books on fitness, look around the web...there are tons of different sources of information if you know where to look.
Winter can be a pretty grueling month for anyone with an interest in fitness - but it doesn’t have to be. Snow and cold doesn’t need to stop you from preparing for your triathlon. Remember that - and above all, do everything in your power to keep yourself motivated.