Mixing it Up for Winter and Maintaining Motivation

Wigan Tri Coach Kay Ashley shares her thoughts on off season training and motivation. Whilst what motivates us to train can be a very personal thing, there is some general advice here to help you prepare for the 2016. I know for myself getting that ‘A’ race into the diary and planning back from that helps get me focused, but I didn’t really think until now about the other bits….I hope you get some value out of it.
So the season has finished and whilst some will take some time off, although not usually the ones who should and need to, and some will carry on regardless, some also reach a bit of an impasse. Here are a few examples of how you can fill your time.

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It can be difficult after sticking to the swim, bike, run ethos to see anything else. But now is a great time to look , and possibly have a go at sports and activities involving a different plane of movement. In triathlon we move in one plane all the time and also, often, only train that way. It is then easy to see why injuries occur. So an “active rest” can be a positive thing. Instead of consolidating an injury think about changing something. A great exponent of this is Chrissie Wellington who, rather than rest in Winter would do something she enjoyed eg kayaking, classes in the gym. Think about working on your core strength and flexibility, source a good yoga and/or pilates class. You won’t regret it with lots of great athletes swearing by both practices. Remember, it doesn’t mean you can’t do any TRI work but it means you can TRY something else.

Could it also be the time you start to get to know people again. You know the ones around you…family, friends etc. Depending on your degree of madness errr….. I mean commitment, it might be a while since you spent a great deal of quality time with them. You know …child was 9…now they are going to Uni …that sort of thing. Time to reconnect with people might give you some brownie points for next year too and you never know if you annoy them enough they will pack your training bag for you!. You can also develop a social life outside of tri and even plan that around activities. Get a group together to attempt some hill walking and climbing, add in a pub lunch, couple of beers and you are doing both [Ed; Of course, whichever family activity you embark on during this off season, make sure you don’t incur injury from attempting something you are not really skilled for…..I know people wouldn’t really do that now would they!!]

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Have you had a deep seated injury or niggle that hasn’t prevented competing but you feel has stopped you performing at your best? Well, unless you want to repeat that next season why not use this time to finally get it sorted. Now is a great time to spend building strength, correcting muscle imbalances, altering technique all to help make you stronger for 2016.

Motivation

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For those of you who lose a bit of motivation over the Winter months the above isn’t an exhaustive list and you may be someone who thrives on regular competition. There are lots of events still running over Winter and the list doesn’t stop at Cross Country, there are local cx bike races, there are lots of road 10K taking place. How about a race just for fun, even including your kids….? Santa Dash.
If you are a bit of a procrastinator and don’t take tablets for it well get your 2016 calendar out and start planning and, if needed, negotiating your season. Decide on your A race and then build the rest around that. From that you can then identify the various stages of your training and choose the sessions you can attend and what you need to do outside of your club sessions. Even better if you link in with someone with the same A race. Whilst this may sound like you aren’t training you are, you are training your mind…setting out what you are doing and what needs to be done to help you achieve your goals.
So, some food for thought. The ends of the season isn’t the end it’s just the start of the build to the next one and the time can be spent really effectively. You have to be realistic about your needs and what you want to achieve in the future as this will reflect on what you do now.
Remember as the new season approaches

Use this time wisely…….and enjoy it….

Kay

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