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Off season training


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Please excuse the long winded post but I am hoping to get some advice from the community about ‘off season’ training.

For a little context I am a 43 year old reformed fatty who only started triathlon a little over 3 years ago, recently completed my second 70.3 in a time of 6:01.  I have absolutely no illusion that I will be  qualifying for anything or being at the front of the field, however I do want to improve.

Based on the fact that I will not be front of pack I cannot see the merit in the cost of coaching combined with the fact that both my wife and I work full time and have 3 school aged children, consistency in training can be difficult at times, therefore the money spent on a coach could be wasted at times. 

What is everyone’s theory on off season/base training.

In the lead up to my recent 70.3 I was doing 2 swims, 2 bike intervals and a long ride, a couple of 4-5km runs and approx. 10km long run a week.  However, I am now feeling that this should almost be a regular week during the off season.  My run is most definitely my weakest as didn’t even start to run until my late 30s.  I am trying to run 4-5 times a week at the moment to build a chassis (2 x 4km, 1-2 x 6km and 1 long run 8+km) but need to ensure that the other 2 disciplines don’t suffer.

I am not looking for the magic pill or short cut, I am fully aware that it is all about time and hard work, but wonder what others do, or even if there is any merit in some form of coaching.

I appreciate any advice.

Edited by Stuie016
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For me the off season is about enjoying training. So do what you can fit in with your lifestyle. 

To me that is coming into season refreshed and uninjured, with some fitness. 

For your running just run, no structure just out door for what you feel like/have time for. 

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For me triathlon is all about living a healthy lifestyle.

During the off season try and do 1 swim, bike and run a week. Everything else is for enjoyment.

Don't burn yourself out training 365 days a year. If you want to stay fit and healthy long term you you need to find a routine that you enjoy and can maintain long term. Going on group training sessions can be fun and social and push you.

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6 hours ago, rory-dognz said:

For me the off season is about enjoying training. So do what you can fit in with your lifestyle. . 

 

5 hours ago, Ironnerd said:

For me triathlon is all about living a healthy lifestyle

 

4 hours ago, AA7 said:

Do something every day.

As someone who has been doing the sport since 1994. 
 

the advice above is spot on. 
 

close the thread 

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Agree with nearly all of the above.

For me, I like to have some kind of event every 6 to 8 weeks.  I typically back off the swimming and riding and concentrate more on running.  So 10km or Half Marathon Fun Runs, Trail Running Races, even Park Runs.  Helps keep me interested in the training (even though I'm training much less).

But important to not do overdo it.  You want to start the 'real' training feeling fresh.  Should be eager to get back to the long rides, etc.

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Appreciate the advice.

Tends to align with what I thought, do a little as often as possible.  Will focus on running as often as possible seeing that this is my weakest discipline, and most disliked. 

@Fitness Buddyagree on the strength building.  Already feeling the old man syndrome kicking in with the additional running I am doing.

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My 'off season' varies as I don't do tri year in year out (shudder) but depends if it's a tri year, an ultra year, cycling etc.

But in general, a tickover week for running is usually 35-40km per week, cycling varies massively, as I'm able to regain that with not much effort but usually 3-4hrs p/w.

I remember AP saying, always keep yourself in enough shape to do a HIM tomorrow.  That's a pretty good yardstick.

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9 hours ago, FatPom said:

I remember AP saying, always keep yourself in enough shape to do a HIM tomorrow.  That's a pretty good yardstick.

I think that is very relative to the Individual.  Also dependent on your interpretation on 'do'.

I could complete a Full Ironman (well within the cutoff) any day of the week (would be horrible and extremely unenjoyable).  But I would only consider myself in good enough condition to 'do' an HIM for about 3 months of the year.  My definition of 'enough shape to do' would be within 10 to 15 mins of my PB.

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11 hours ago, FatPom said:

I remember AP saying, always keep yourself in enough shape to do a HIM tomorrow.  That's a pretty good yardstick.

I seem to remember AP saying  that you should keep yourself in enough shape to be able to do any ONE of the legs of a HIM tomorrow...  Not the full HIM...  Or maybe I remembered wrong...  

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1 hour ago, BogFrog said:

I seem to remember AP saying  that you should keep yourself in enough shape to be able to do any ONE of the legs of a HIM tomorrow...  Not the full HIM...  Or maybe I remembered wrong...  

pretty sure it’s the whole HIM. 

back to the original question - I too have a weak run leg, and yes I agree it has to be enjoyable but running (and lots of it, both on and off season) has helped me progress. I’ve been at it for 12 years and it’s come good through consistency. I used to hate running but now it’s the one I like the most. 
 

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8 hours ago, Rob said:

I think that is very relative to the Individual.  Also dependent on your interpretation on 'do'.

I could complete a Full Ironman (well within the cutoff) any day of the week (would be horrible and extremely unenjoyable).  But I would only consider myself in good enough condition to 'do' an HIM for about 3 months of the year.  My definition of 'enough shape to do' would be within 10 to 15 mins of my PB.

I'm assuming it was 'complete', I suppose in a reasonable time but not race time. I dunno, take it up with AP, I didn't write it. 

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6 hours ago, BogFrog said:

I seem to remember AP saying  that you should keep yourself in enough shape to be able to do any ONE of the legs of a HIM tomorrow...  Not the full HIM...  Or maybe I remembered wrong...  

You remembered wrong. It was definitely the whole thing.

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47 minutes ago, FatPom said:

I'm assuming it was 'complete', I suppose in a reasonable time but not race time. I dunno, take it up with AP, I didn't write it. 

I was just trying to put the comment into perspective. Would be relevant if you were doing 2 Ironman events every year (like AP did).  But I don't think the advice works universally.

There are numerous athletes in my club that love maintaining a high level of training all year (and some of them never do Ironman). Plenty of others (like me) that need a break (physically and mentally).

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1 hour ago, Clarkevitch said:

His actual comment was on any given day you should be able to swim for 1hr, ride for 100ks or 4hrs and run 20ks or 2hrs.

Thanks mate, yeah that makes sense and pretty much aligns with an a laid back HIM (of course, depends on age etc) but still a good yardstick IMO.

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3 hours ago, Rob said:

I was just trying to put the comment into perspective. Would be relevant if you were doing 2 Ironman events every year (like AP did).  But I don't think the advice works universally.

There are numerous athletes in my club that love maintaining a high level of training all year (and some of them never do Ironman). Plenty of others (like me) that need a break (physically and mentally).

Yeah agreed, race fit and 'complete fit' are different things but IMO, even if you keep yourself in 'complete fit' you still avoid the whole nightmare of starting again from scratch.

I think a lot of is mental as well. If you are doing something nearly every day, be it single sport of cross training (like skiing or XC riding), it's pretty easy to switch back multi sport focus.  You still have the same mental discipline, just different muscle use.

Not shutting down altogether is far more important.  I haven't swam (except for surfing) for over a year and I know from experience that if I jumped in today, i'd be about 10mins off my IM time and within 2-3 weeks I'd be right on it again (joys of being a slow swimmer 😀 )

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11 hours ago, Clarkevitch said:

His actual comment was on any given day you should be able to swim for 1hr, ride for 100ks or 4hrs and run 20ks or 2hrs.

Ah yes, this looks more like what I remember - but I think I replaced the and with or 🤣

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4 minutes ago, BogFrog said:

Ah yes, this looks more like what I remember - but I think I replaced the and with or 🤣

Well, the way my motivation is heading, you could have been right the first time. 😉

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10 hours ago, FatPom said:

I think a lot of is mental as well. If you are doing something nearly every day, be it single sport of cross training (like skiing or XC riding), it's pretty easy to switch back multi sport focus.  You still have the same mental discipline, just different muscle use.

Not shutting down altogether is far more important.  I haven't swam (except for surfing) for over a year and I know from experience that if I jumped in today, i'd be about 10mins off my IM time and within 2-3 weeks I'd be right on it again (joys of being a slow swimmer 😀 )

I typically switch to a running focus in the off-season.  Unlike cycling, not as miserable to do in bad weather.

5 to 6 hours is big running week for me, but mentally much easier than the 10 to 15 hours of Triathlon training.  So I get that mental break, but maintain decent fitness.

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On 17/11/2020 at 10:31 AM, wombattri said:

pretty sure it’s the whole HIM. 

back to the original question - I too have a weak run leg, and yes I agree it has to be enjoyable but running (and lots of it, both on and off season) has helped me progress. I’ve been at it for 12 years and it’s come good through consistency. I used to hate running but now it’s the one I like the most. 
 

That is the plan, try to get consistent running in and build a solid long term base.  We that was the case until this morning when 2 minutes into my run a mistimed stride on a footpath crossover and bam, calf pinged....

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