Time for Change
The triathlon season is winding down. This is a perfect time to reflect on goals attained, missed opportunities, the fun, the grind. Most importantly, the break from the normal regime is a chance to ask yourself this question: What next?
I find that athletes often get stuck in a rut. Why?
- They do not vary their training.
- They do the same races every year.
- They train with the same people.
- They make the same mistakes.
- They train too hard or train too easy.
- They do not stick to a plan.
Now is the time to break out of the “sameness” and try something new, something that will progress you to the next level. Athletes are afraid of change. Routine is like a security blanket that athletes are unwilling to part with, no matter how tattered and stinky. Let 2012 be the year you leave the sameness behind and rekindle your love for the sport and perhaps even set a few PR’s in the process.
Here are some suggestions for building the foundation to a better season next year:
- Find new training partners to complement the ones you already have. New training partners can help give new perspective, new stories, and new jokes.
- Incorporate intervals into your training that you do not normally do. If you like short, fast intervals challenge yourself with longer repeats. If you are an aficionado of mile repeats, try some 400’s instead. And, vary you workouts so you aren’t doing the same exact thing every week.
- Seek the help of a trainer at the gym and get strong. A trainer will show you the right way to do the exercises and can give you a plan targeted to your weaknesses.
- Take enough time away from swim, bike, run that you really miss it. Believe me, I know first hand. After 16 months without riding, I really miss it!
- Sign up for new races or race distances that you would not normally do. This year I ran cross-country, 10k races and races in new venues. It was a blast.
- Run a 5k. Look, we can all use a good dose of speed.
- Take care of nagging injuries. Self explanatory!
- Perfect your form in all three disciplines. This will make you more efficient and may prevent injuries.
- Working with a coach may help you achieve many of these things
I hope that you can find some things to take your training and racing to the next level in 2012.