I am not a triathlete. (I’m not sure my triathlon in the 8th grade counts anymore.) But I would like to be one. So, let’s say I’m a triathlete-in-the-making.
In the spring, I announced I would do a triathlon this summer. Did I have a bike? No. Did I have my family’s blessing? No. Did I get influenced by other people’s announcements that they were doing triathlons? Yes! (Ahem, Jill.)
So, no, I never did a triathlon this summer. At the beginning of summer, I wasn’t sure I really even wanted to do one. But now, I really have the bug. It’s become my new thing. Of course, triathlon season is basically over and I still do not have a bike. (My mountain bike doesn’t count. I refuse to use it in a triathlon — unless I decide to do the XTerra one, I guess. I want to have a chance, people, c’mon!)
So, I am training for a triathlon. I haven’t chosen one yet, but I am looking. I have a plan to get a bike this fall or winter, so I’ll be ready to go this time. Meanwhile, I’m running a little (3 or less miles at a time on PT orders), and biking some on my mountain bike, which I am thoroughly enjoying it now that I know how to shift, etc., thanks to Selene Yeager’s book The Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling. I’ve even been to the pool a few times — and actually swam laps there, too!
But what in the heck does a triathlete do in the “off-season” to prepare for NEXT season?
I have no idea. That’s where you come in: Do you do triathlons? Do you swim and bike through the winter? Is there a non-training “training” plan for triathletes? If you have ideas, pretty please leave it in the comments! Maybe someone else is wondering, too!
Right now, I have decided that my main focus will be losing weight. I am still loving Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules. I don’t need the book anymore (although, I still like to use or get inspiration from his recipes). Our family is eating so much healthier, and my husband is still losing weight.
I, however, am not losing anything.
I am bouncing between 152 and 153. Have been for weeks. I am eating enough. I’m not eating bad (yes, some popcorn every once in a while, but I’m trying to limit it).
Today, my stomach feels like it is hanging over my jeans. I’ve got to get this in control! So, I jumped back on MyFitnessPal today and started tracking. But I’m not just tracking calories. I suspect I’ve been eating too much protein. According to Bob and other health experts, to figure out how much protein you really need, you just need to divide your weight in two. So, I need about 76 grams of protein a day. When I entered all my food into MyFitnessPal for today, I realized that I may be eating too much protein. I need to watch this closely.
I also realized that I will not have any calories left for popcorn tonight.
But, that’s okay. I’m not sure triathletes are supposed to eat popcorn anyway.
Yay for triathlons!
In the off season, I usually try to maintain a balanced workout plan – getting some biking, running and some swimming in the mix along with classes at the gym. Not nearly the intensity of in-season training but still doing multiple things.
I would definitely focus on working on the things you feel you are less confident about…so if you rarely swim, try to do that more. If you need more miles on your bike, get out there and ride. Sounds like you have the running down so focus on the other 2 🙂
As for food, I LOVE me some popcorn – and not just the microwave stuff – I’m talking high test, oil and butter, in the pan! Never deprive yourself of that yumminess 🙂
Happy to help you with your training if you’d like – feel free to contact me anytime!
Thanks, Erika! Great tips. I’m sure I will be picking your brain more soon!
I am interested to see what your commenters say because I am a new triathlete going into my first offseason after my first half ironman on Sunday. I hired a coach because I will be doing my first Ironman next summer and wanted to make sure I did what I needed to do in order to be ready for Ironman training come the end of winter.
I also plan on losing weight during offseason. I lost 15 pounds during triathlon training this summer but once the training got intense, I fluctuated the same 5 pounds. After my race, I plan on tightening the diet and lose 5-10 more pounds, but we will see.
The weight thing is rough! I wish I could figure it out. That’s awesome that you hired a coach!
I swim, bike and run in the off season. I also focus on strength training. For the record, you can totally do a triathlon on mountain bike. I did my first few on a mountain bike.
Strength training – can’t forget about that. What do you do for strength training? And, yeah, I know I could do a tri on a mtn bike, but it’s just. so. slow. LOL!
Not sure what others do, and I’m certainly not an expert, but I swim/bike/run in the winter as well. Of course, living in San Diego the weather is conducive to that…not sure where you live, but even people who live in snow can do all that indoors.
Also, I did my first 2 tris on my old hybrid. Nothing wrong with it. Especially at a sprint, you’ll see lots of types of bikes…I even saw some 1-speed beach cruisers once.
Well, San Diego is pretty much perfect for tri training, I would think. I’m in Seattle, but I plan to get a bike trainer (am borrowing one right now, though I’ve yet to use it!).
A beach cruiser! That’s awesome!
I learned how to ride a bike in 2011 and did a triathlon a few months later. So this was my 2nd summer doing a triathlon. In the “off season,” I try to swim one day a week and go to a spinning class one day a week (if I can). I also run 3-4 times a week. I have been doing a fall and spring half every year since 2010 so that, along with one day a week of strength, seems to work for me on the “off season.” Then once May/June hits, the long bike rides start, and open water swims one day a week.
I need to find a spinning class. I don’t belong to a gym, so I’m not sure how to get into one. Hmmm….
I have done 4 tri’s so far and here’s my plan: swim, bike and run. haha. No, seriously, I try to run 3 x week, I go to spin classes and certainly try to bike on an actual bike and I swim 2000 yds weekly. ARe you wanting to do Ironman/half ironman or just an oly or sprint tri? no experience with the longer distances (too much training commitment), but it’s basically more of the same. You can google swim workouts for triathletes and it will give you a warm up, workout and cool down depending on your ability and distance you want to race. Running you already know about, and biking you just need to get the miles in. Throw in a brick workout (running after you biked 20 miles) and there you go! Good luck! They are so fun and one of the most proud moments I’ve had in my life was finishing the ocean swim part of an oly tri. 🙂
I’m thinking Olympic for next year…and then maybe I’ll stick with that for a while. I don’t know if I’ll have the time to commit to 70.3++++! Great advice, thanks!
Off season is pretty short. Good things to do include getting any injuries under control, targeted core work/strength training, and working on any flexibility issues. It’s a good time for a focused swimming block – 3-5 days/week in the pool – since you likely can’t ride outside in the winter much, as well as time to do some shorter road running races to keep yourself sharp. Good luck!
Good tips! Need to incorporate some yoga…
Offseason? What is that? I need a dictionary to figure what that means……haha!
Seriously though I swim/bike/run and strength train all year round. Some weeks are far more intense and time consuming than others (peak vs taper/recovery) and I always work with my coach on the areas I feel I am weakest at.
For example, heading into my first ‘off-season’ I expressed to my coach my desire to swim better/faster and so we focused a bit on that. Then the next ‘off-season’ I was concerned that I wasn’t running fast enough off the bike so we worked on that.
You are a runner so that is the ‘easy’ part for you. Since you are just getting a bike I would spend my time there. The bike is going to take the longest amount of time in a triathlon so you want to develop that into a strength. Having a good bike sets you up for a solid run.
I swim 3x per week, bike (a lot on the trainer in the winter) 4x per week, run off the bike 2x per week and then a long slow day running as well.
Do not hesitate to ask questions as we all started somewhere and some plans will work for you while others won’t. That is the beauty of triathlon…..figuring it all out.
Awesome! Yes, the bike is all a mystery to me! I used to be a swimmer, so swimming feels like riding a bike. Does that make any sense at all?
Makes total sense. Keep the strengths strong and developing the weaknesses.
The off season is a great time to work on your weakness. Try doing 4-6 week “blocks” of training for one specific sport then rotate through so you don’t get bored. Of course, to stay in the best tri shape you should be doing at least 1-2 workouts in each sport every week regardless of which block you’re in. I think just staying active and in shape is the biggest thing. What your training is exactly isn’t as important as just maintaining fitness.
Yay for you starting something new and awesome! I’ve never even thought about attempting a Tri so you go girl! I just enjoyed this post so much for some reason lol you’re excitement is contageous…maybe one day for me… 🙂 sorry I’m no help in the tri advice department. Just wanted to comment on how awesome you are!
Too much protein? I never thought of that being a problem. Interesting.