Tips for the Off-Season

Where will your off-season path bring you?  (used with permission from Kristin Kelly)

Where will your off-season path bring you?

(used with permission from Kristin Kelly)

As the competitive season draws to an end in the Northern Hemisphere many athletes are preparing for the “off-season”. Below are four tips to help you navigate this time of year and emerge recharged and refreshed for the coming season.

Take A Break - Take 2 or 3 weeks of non structured training to give your body and mind a break. Sleep in a few days a week instead of going to the gym or hitting Masters swim. If you choose to ride or run, leave the heart rate monitor or power meter at home and just enjoy being outside.

Strength Training - All athletes will benefit from strength training in the off-season but it is especially important for female athletes over the age of 35 and Masters athletes. As we age we lose bone density and muscle mass. Lifting heavy weights 2-3 times a week will help to offset some of this loss as well as preventing injury.

Work On Your Limiter - The off-season is the time to focus on your limiter and turn it into a strength for the upcoming season. If you are a weak swimmer the off- season is a great time to invest in one-on-one instruction, drill and form work, and an increase in distance.

Try A Different Sport - During the competitive season we normally focus on race specific types of workouts and aren’t able to branch out and try different sports. The off-season is a great time to check out cyclocross, mountain biking, gravel cycling, trail running, and rowing.

The biggest takeaway from this is to give yourself time to mentally and physically recharge from the heavy training load of the competitive season while staying active.