Prep for the Prep Season

It’s all semantics, but typically every coach or coaching group has a different word for the time of year between the ending of tri season and the first triathlon.  Unless you live in Australia (which we don’t), that is usually November-ish through March-ish depending on specific races that you have chosen.   I don’t really think there is an off-season, but instead a period of time to take a mental break from the structure of training and mental stress of training, but continue to prep the body and the mind for success in your next season.   

I don’t cook, but I like to equate the The Tri season with cooking:

MAKE YOUR GROCERY LIST = write your dreams and goals for next season! Dream Big!

YOU ORGANIZE THE FOOD & EQUIPMENT NEEDED = Plan the race the schedule and look at your schedule of life and want you can realistically accomplish with all of your other life commitments

PREP THE MEAL = Getting ready to start the “true” training by prepping the body, mind and soul through recovery and less mental stress of a specific training plan.

COOK THE MEAL = Base building, speed endurance or other preparation block of training.

EAT THE DINNER = Race specific training plan block


Here are the top 10 ways to PREP YOUR MEAL:  

  1. Work with your coach to establish both short term and long term goals.  So often we are just training for the next race or the next 6 months, but I bet most of us Type A personalities have BIG GOALS!   It’s OK to think about them now and make a roadmap for success.
  2. Commit to technical improvements in swim, bike and run.  This is the chance to bring down the volume and focus on the swim stroke, or learn how to handle your bike in a curve, or head to the Computrainer, not just for a workout, but to focus on pedal form, running drills for improved efficiency and so much more.
  3. Think about equipment changes now and not during the middle of the season.  Are you moving to a triathlon bike, looking at new running shoes, or trying to find those perfect tri shorts…this is the time to experiment.
  4. Numerous triathletes decide to run “winter” marathons, but understand this is not necessary for the overall development of you as an athlete.   It is okay to set up the body for the next season through strengthening of the musculoskeletal system though shorter runs and carefully applied stress within the run.
  5. Swim more and be swim fit!  We don’t have to be fast, but we have to be strong and fit to bike and run after the swim.  Focus on technical work.  Find a buddy and commit to enjoying the pool.  Make it social, but get it done and get swim strong!
  6. Strength and conditioning work.  We’ve covered that multiple times and be specific in your choice.  Find the weaknesses and become stronger.    This is a long term benefit for you in life!  Take it from personal  experience…recovering from surgery is no joke and thank goodness, I can do a squat!
  7. Focus on fueling and where you feel you can make improvements.  Make it a goal to improve your daily nutrition whether it is eat healthier or eat more or eat right.   Small improvement will pay huge dividends.
  8. Focus on recovery.  We are recovering in this time right?  If you’re running long get in the habit of refueling within that 30 min window.  Take the time to stretch after the bike sessions.  Commit to the small improvements and they will become big improvements.
  9. Start a dream list…Wish list for the events you want to conquer.  Challenge yourself and dream big!
  10. Lucky #10!!  HAVE FUN!  We should be having fun all the time, but it is so easy to get lost in the training plan and making the training sessions a job.  Be different, stay fit, plan for next year and HAVE FUN!