January 22, 2018


Post SeasonLast week I wrote about race week and how to deal with all of the excitement and anxiety so I thought this week I’d write about the week after your race.

Hopefully, you had a great race and you’re basking in the glow of your brand new winner’s medal. No? Don’t worry, there are very few of us that win those darn things – they are truly elusive.

Depending on the length of your race and how often you race your feelings may be very different. For me, this has been a very long, but great, season. I hate to see it end, but I definitely need a break.

For those of you that do long-course triathlons (70.3 and Ironman) you’re going to need some down-time. For you short-course folks, you’ll still need a rest but just not as much. Here’s my rule of thumb:

Sprint: taper 4 days before and 4 days after
Olympic: taper one week before and one week after
70.3: taper two weeks before and two weeks after
Ironman: taper three weeks before and three weeks after

Of course, this is the ideal arrangement but sometimes you’ll have other races scheduled within those timeframes that don’t allow a full rest so you’ll have to improvise. That’s okay but be sure you prioritize your races so you don’t burn yourself out on your “B” race and can’t “race” your “A” race.

Since it’s the end of the season there are three, maybe four, primary things you’ll want to concentrate on:

1. Rest and repair
2. Cross-training
3. Strength training
4. Dieting

If you’ve had a big season with lots of racing you really need to give your body a rest. If you’ve been monitoring your resting heart rate daily you’ll see that after a big race it will be elevated. Mine was elevated for three entire weeks after Ironman Kona. Allow yourself a break.

Now is the perfect time to integrate some cross-training into your schedule. If you haven’t been doing any yoga or Pilates this would be a great time to do so. Hiking, skiing, roller blading, kayaking, etc. are all great forms of cross-training.

While you should be doing strength training all year, the off-season is a great time to start or increase these efforts. During the season if you trash yourself too much in the gym you may not be able to do quality swim, cycling and run workouts. In the off-season . . . trash away!
Your weight will go down if you train but if you eat more while in a period of training you may not lose weight, or may actually gain weight. It is also not advisable to lose too much weight while you’re training and racing because your performance may suffer. So if you’ve got a few pounds to lose, attempt to do so in the off-season.

Rest up and get ready for next season!


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