10 May Rest & Recovery
Busselton 70.3 and Port Mac are over, and for many Australian triathletes, that signals the end of the racing season.
All the months of hard work culminated in two of the most epic races on the Aussie calendar, and now you’ve all recovered from your celebratory beer, the off season is time to REST and RECOVER.
<<gasp>> Wait, wait? Did you say “rest” Belinda??
I know firsthand how hard it is to take time off to reset. After qualifying for Kona, I found it hard to take my foot off the pedal to rest and reset before the build to the World Championships. Any time someone else was out training or posting on social media its was a serious case of FOMO!
I know many triathletes feel that by slowing down they will lose their fitness, or miss out on key sessions with others, or (horror of horrors) gain weight.
Learning to step back and take a breath will actually work in your favour – especially if you nail your nutrition in the off season. It’s not realistic to maintain race weight all year round, so eat well, eat consistently and stay hydrated (this is a big one in winter!).
Use the off season to ease off a little and try some new activities. The local cyclists in Busselton love to get out into the bush and hit the trails on mountain bikes. Not only is mountain biking probably the most fun you can have on two wheels (getting air over a jump will make even the sternest riders laugh in delight) but it builds stamina, strength and bike handling skills. There are fantastic trails all over WA, but down south here the trails are world class. With several great apps available listing course maps, difficulty ratings and approximate completion times, there’s no excuse for not getting a little muddy!
A couple of our favourite apps are Margaret River Find The Fun and for a trail specific app check out Trails WA
The off season is also a fab time to focus on strength training, which will go a long way towards boosting your power to weight ratio on the bike. Core, glute and quad strength will work in your favour once training ramps up again, and let’s face it, many athletes do let strength work fall by the wayside in favour of long endurance rides.
Swap out the speedwork and slow the pace by grabbing some paddles and a pull buoy to build up shoulder strength in the pool – this also works to correct body position in the water. Just remember to ease into it! Knocking out 3km with paddles straight off the bat might result in you not being able to lift your arms past your chest!
Lastly, with the winter weather filling pathways and roads with rain water, why not hit the hills for some trail running. Grab a friend and concentrate on some long slow trail runs, which build stamina and strength. Trail running utilises some different muscle groups than running on bitumen, as your whole body responds to changes in elevation (hills), surface textures (rocks, pea gravel, riverbeds) and surrounding obstacles (branches, undergrowth, prickles and eeeek spiderwebs!) meaning you become more intuitive and fast acting – think mountain goat!
What underpins a successful off season? Good nutrition, of course.
Rest and recovery can’t happen without providing your body with the fuel needed to support its engine. It’s time to focus on your daily Supergreens to ward off the winter lurgies, and protein powders can be the basis of a yummy smoothie which can be a lighter breakfast opti0n.
Check out our full range of nutrition options here
Take your time and enjoy recovery while you can!