Just as successfully navigating T1 and T2 transitions is essential in putting together a seamless and effective race performance, so is the importance of the transition from one triathlon season to the next. The time between your last race of this season and your first race of the next is a valuable opportunity to spend some time recovering and attending to any nagging injuries, evaluating your past training and race season, and discovering new techniques and setting new goals for getting faster for the upcoming season.
Consider these important areas as you cool down from last season and warm up for the next:
1. Rest & Relax
You’ve just completed another strenuous training and racing season of swimming, biking, and running. You have competed at an intense level for a sustained amount of time and your body needs rest.
That rest is not only to give your joints and muscles some necessary recovery, but also to address any nagging injuries that may be lingering from previous months. Your body—and mind—will appreciate some dedicated recovery time and the decreased training hours during the preseason months.
The physical and mental reset at the end of the season is just the rest your body has been awaiting post-race. Read a book. Sleep. Spend some extra time with your family and friends. Catch up on some Netflix shows or all the TriDot Podcast episodes to date. Even if you are anxious to get back to training, it is essential that you don't jump back into hard training too soon. Coming back too aggressively and/or too quickly can lead to injury or feelings of “burn-out.”
2. Reflect & Review
The end of your tri season is a great time to review how well you pursued and executed your race goals for the year. Only you—and a few close friends and coaches—know what your primary objectives and motivations were for the past season. Revisit your results and reevaluate your purposes and priorities in the sport. It would be a monumental mistake to train and race so diligently without reflecting upon and figuring out where you are currently at and what you ultimately desire to achieve.
As you reflect, celebrate the accomplishments and acknowledge any major setbacks from the past year. Did you set a PR this season? Place in your age group for the first time? Significantly improve on your weakest discipline? Or face some disappointments that you need to analyze as you go forward?
3. Renew & Resume
After a week or two of some serious rest and relaxation—of both body and mind—you'll be wanting to get back into your training. As you resume your training routines, it’s time to set a renewed purpose and outline some measurable goals for the upcoming season. This is also a good opportunity to reconnect with your coach, talk extensively, and cast an exciting, new vision for next year.
With no races in the near future, this is the ideal time for you to do some of the things you didn't have time to do or couldn't do during the busy race season. What are the areas you would like to improve? Are there any changes in focus or mindset that will ensure next season will be more productive than last season? Even small changes can result in big improvements.
Have you wanted to make corrections in your swim stroke? Is there new nutrition you’d like to try? Are there recovery methods you’d like to consider? Is there new technology that might give you an added advantage? This is an ideal time to try something new as you focus on areas of personal improvement within the sport.
Rest & Relax, Reflect & Review, and Renew & Resume
The seriousness and strategy with which you approach and execute your season transition will significantly impact next year’s race results. By following the steps above, you can enhance your performance improvement and enjoyment of the sport. Be purposeful, be strategic, be flexible, and be ready to enjoy your best tri season yet!