There are about three months until the triathlon competition season starts, if we don’t take into account the competition in Izvorani, in February. It’s enough time to get ready and return to your last year shape, but you have to keep in mind a few basic rules.
Rule number 1: Don’t run a marathon in January
Don’t run a marathon in January, now is not the time for personal records. You are in constructing, recovering, accumulating strength, preparing the structure on which you will rely for the upcoming competitions. An off-season marathon does not make you a better runner. Running sessions should be short. Run for pleasure, you will have enough time and competitions that will drain your energy.
Rule number 2: Focus on short, intense workouts
Give up long, aerobic workouts, do short runs and cycling sessions. During the winter or when you prepare for the new season, you don’t need four or five hour bike training, but rather short, intense reps; you need to shoot hard and then recover quickly. Volume matters less, overall fitness comes first.
Rule number 3: Gain weight (intentionally)
You think, „Simple as hello, winter is the easiest time of year to gain weight, but how does this help me?” More kilograms help improve performance, but you should not put on more than 8-12% of your body weight, says Kirsta Austin, a nutritionist and coach for performance athletes who has worked with Olympic athletes.
„Triathletes maintain a certain weight all the time,” says Austin. „But research shows that, in fact, extra weight helps to adapt during training.”
Training with a higher body weight teaches our body to recruit and put to work more neurons and more muscle fibers. When the body regains its original weight, athletes have already formed a greater resistance to fatigue. Muscles work in the same way, but when you start losing weight you consume less oxygen, therefore you are more rested and thus increase your level of performance.
Austin uses the „extra weight” method for athletes who can’t train at altitude or for 800-meter runners and sprinters in the sprint category. It simply adds extra calories at times when they don’t usually eat. An ice cream before bed quickly brings them the desired extra weight. For two months they train at a lower volume and intensity, and then their extra calories are removed from their diet.
Rule number 4: Swim a lot
What do children do when they learn to swim? They swim a lot. This method is also recommended for triathletes. The best time to swim and gain a few minutes (in the case of weaker swimmers) or a few seconds (in the case of more advanced swimmers) is out of season, in winter. So swim as often as possible, but also take into account the fact that you need the advice of a specialist. A coach can observe you from the outside and can correct your wrong movements, he can tell you what are the improvements you need, where you still have to work on the technique. Train with a specialist at least once a week.
Rule number 5: Go to the gym
If you simply want to burn calories, you can also use elliptical machines for cardio effort, but don’t expect to become a better runner. The best training for triathlon will always be swimming, cycling and running. But what is the most effective type of non-specific training? Strength training. Numerous studies have shown that lifting weights can help the athlete gain time while running or cycling.
Seven Sport Club Specialist’s Opinion
Paraschiv Eftimie, our athletics coach, member of the Seven Sport Club team, shared some tips about winter training, for amateur and professional athletes alike.
„After the triathlon season ends, holiday comes, for three, four weeks. After the break, the body loses its strenght. The exercises must start gradually – assimilation, adaptation or re-adaptation to the training conditions „, Paraschiv Eftimie told us.
The come-back can be achieved by swimming, biking and running and doing strength exercises, to prepare the main muscles and stabilizing the correct movements of the joints (ankles, knees, pelvis, spine, shoulders, etc.). The intensity and weights can be increased gradually, as the body adapts.
The next stage is to decrease the weights, followed by an increase in exercise intensity and gradual workload.
Another important aspect to follow in the winter is the execution technique.
„During the competition season, athletes no longer focus on the technique so much, they prefer a volume as large as possible. But just then the risk of injury is higher. During the winter, more attention should be paid to learning the technique and increasing strength through weights. As the competitive period approaches, the intensity of these trainings will increase „, the coach told us.
An amateur athlete who practices triathlon, running or cycling, must have between two and four strength training sessions per week. As the competition period approaches, no more than two strength training sessions per week should be reached.
“During the off-season, basic exercises, knee bends, push-ups, tractions, straightening must be performed. These are basic exercises that athletes must learn to perform very correctly and from there begin to vary. We must not be deceived by all kinds of attractive exercises, done with all kinds of accessories. We must first have the correct biomechanics of movement.”
Article source: Triathlete.com
Translation: Emilian Nedelcu