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Keeping fit during the Xmas festivities

December 17th, 2013

1 Train during the morning so you can spend the rest of your day with friends and family

This tip sounds obvious but will help you relax enjoy the break with your loved ones without the guilt lurking around like a bad Christmas ham. Make sure you have your training regime planned out, print it off and stick it on your refrigerator so you’ll be able to reference it before you head out. Having that morning run will also keep you invigorated for a day out with the kids or for slogging through the Christmas lunch.

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2 Set up a Christmas themed race

Do this with your training group or friends and family with an emphasis on fun rather than results. Remember, this is the offseason so you shouldn’t be pushing your body to the max anyway. It could be a costume race or just a simple fun run. Stay in shape but more importantly, make memories.

3 Plan fast workouts

Plan some fast workouts during the week as the stress will help your body needs some stress to make further gains. Make the fast segments of your workouts short with long recovery intervals. With an emphasis on fast and short segments during your training, you will be able to accomplish them in no time, giving you more time for holiday activities.

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4 Consider a single-sport focus

What was the weakest part of your races during the year? The offseason is a perfect time for you to place more focus on your areas of weakness, something you just don’t have time for during the racing calendar. If your swim is your weak link in your races, try swimming four or five days per week. If cycling is your weak link, try adding a weekly group ride as one of your key workouts. If running is your weak link, add one more run session per week, but keep an eye on injury indicators.

5Swim. A lot

Although this tip may seem very similar to the previous, it is noted by many that swimming is usually the triathlete’s biggest weakness. Being the most technical of the three disciplines, it only makes sense to practise as much as possible to hone your swimming technique. Find out the pool times of your local pool over the Christmas period so you don’t get caught out. If you’re not feeling too motivated by this prospect, convince (or bribe) a friend to come along so that you’re not training alone. Try dedicating a whole week or two to swim every single day. If you feel your technique is really lacking, why not hire a coach? Go on, you’re worth it.

Craig and other swimmers

Craig and other swimmers

6 Focus on short, intense workouts

Instead of long aerobic workouts, try going on shorter runs and bike rides with greater intensity. Not only will you save time, you’ll also help your body boost your lactate threshold and power output. Boosting your threshold and power can be a huge confidence builder going into next year.

7Do some cross training

Go out and have a surf, play some gold or whatever sport you are into. Triathlon requires a great deal of discipline but everybody, even the professionals, need a break in their routine. Remember that training is also about enjoying life and the fitness benefits it brings.

Crowie out on a paddle

Out on a paddle

8 Train in moderation and make sure you rest

After a long hard year, your body and mind will need a break. Think of this as a reward for all the hard work you’ve put in during the year. But even during training, make sure to do so in moderation or risk undoing all of the year’s hard work. Why not get started on that project you’ve being put off or plan that trip you’ve always wanted to go on? Try something completely different and unrelated to triathlon to help your mental recovery. Spend time with family and friends, the ones who have supported you along the way.

9 Build muscular strength and power

Getting gym work is a necessity in the off season if you want to perform to your best and stay injury free. You should be dedicating less time to cycling training, giving you that additional time for some much needed strength training.

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10Reflect on the past year

Put your thoughts about how you went during the past year onto paper. This will help you figure out where you went well, but more importantly, what went wrong and what needs work. Triathlon is as much about the mental aspect as it is about the physical, so make sure your mind is clear and focused. Use your off season to plan an even better year than your last.

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