Awesome #TEAMTRUESTART triathlete and age grouper Gwen Kinsey shares her advice.
We all know how tough it is to keep training with the same level of commitment in the "off" season when it is cold, dark and your next important race is not until next spring. So how can you keep motivated to stay on track with training when the lure of staying in the warm is too tempting?
1.SET SHORT TERM GOALS
This is the most important factor. Work back from your longer term goals and think about what you need to do to achieve them. Do you need to get stronger? Improve endurance? Work on technique? What about your mental state during racing? It can be a combination of all sorts of things but you need to identify what they are.
Next, think about how you can incorporate specifics into your training to help this. For example - I believe I need have more upper body strength to make me a more powerful swimmer. So I am doing a block of land-based training focused on swim-specific muscle groups.
3.SET SHORT TERM TARGETS
This will enable you to test whether your training is working. You may want to enter some low-key races to practice elements of racing - for example pacing. If you pace judgement is poor then why not practice hitting a particular pace in speed sessions then test this in a race.
Reward yourself when you hit targets and if you don't, then try not to get downhearted. Analyse the performance, break it into component parts and you will be able to identify what might have gone wrong. Then learn from it!
5.ADAPT FOR DAYLIGHT
Think about how you can adapt your training so that you are making the most of the daylight. Could you squeeze a session in at lunchtime when it will be warmest and sunniest? If you work flexi-time could you start earlier so that you can still train after work in the daylight?
6.HIT THE GYM
It's warmer and safer. Strength-based sessions should be concentrated on during the off season, so have your TrueStart Coffee and head over to the gym!
7.TRAIN WITH OTHERS
If you know a training partner is waiting for you, there is less likelihood of skipping the training and succumbing to the sofa.
8.VISUALISE NEXT YEAR
Finally, imagine yourself on the start line of your important race next year. Visualize how you feel, what you are thinking, what you are trying to achieve. Transport yourself to this time in the future and the more vividly you can experience the senses, the more motivated you will be to go out and train now!