Its Off Season. It’s cold. It’s wet and it’s always dark.
You leave for work when its dark and and get home when its dark.
You have work, family commitments, a social life and you’re always tired.
So what get’s you out the door and onto the bike when your summer goals seem so far away?
Remembering your 'why' is always a great place to start.
Why did you start triathlon in the first place?
What was is that initially made you fall in love with it?
What is your big, long term goal?
What is your dream?
Sometimes having shorter-term goals can be what gets you out of bed an hour earlier on a dark, cold, wet, windy morning to get your run or gym session done.
Off season goals can take a few forms.
"Process goals" is a term used to help you achieve the bigger goals you have for the summer. You want to qualify for World AG Champs but in order to do so you need to improve your bike leg? A process goal for the winter might be to work on your threshold; to drive up your LT1 and 2 for those science geeks amongst us. Or if your swim is your problem area, you could set yourself the goal of an extra swim a week, or to build up to an additional 1km per session.
More personal goals can also help. As a recently retired athlete, finding their feet in the world of work, without any performance related goals on the horizon for the first time in around 25 years, I’ve had to set myself various personal goals over the last few months to make sure I’m getting some exercise done. Initially, like many brides, I was motivated by the need to fit into my wedding dress. But now that has passed I’ve set myself the goal of doing at least one hour of meaningful exercise every day. Swim, bike, run; a HIIT class in the gym or a hike up a local fell.
I’ve vocalised this goal by telling the people around me; my husband, my colleagues, my friends. This helps me be accountable. It helps me stick to my goal. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your off season goals with people then try writing them down; ideally somewhere you’ll see them often. In your diary, on the fridge, or on a post it note in your car.
Surviving a long off season can be tough, and even the most elite dedicated athletes falter at times. So don’t be too hard on yourself, but do find ways and means to keep yourself motivated until those long sunny days arrive again. And if you really need a kick up the rear end remember “Winter miles mean summer smiles”.
If you want get through the off season together, join one of our squads.