1. TAKE TIME OFF
Oh the horror! Yes, we are serious about this. Recovery is considered part of training. Depending on the distance you trained for, we suggest 1-4 weeks of total time off.
2. LONG, SLOW DISTANCES
Let your body slowly build a base that is injury-free and less toxic to your body. Try to keep the hills to a minimum and keep the workouts between Zones 1 and 2 if you are doing heart rate training.
3. MASSAGES, ART, and REHAB
Hard, repetitive workouts cause the body to lay down scar tissue. Scar tissue is evil as it delays activation of muscles and restricts range of motion. ART (Active Release Techniques) was designed to release scar tissue, normalizing the movement of your muscles, tendons, ligaments, arteries, and nerves. Unfortunately, scar tissue itself doesn't cause pain. However, your ART practitioner or massage therapist can identify the scar tissue that you may not even know is present.
4. GET AN FMS SCREENING
You are only as strong as your weakest link! FMS (Functional Movement Systems) is a series of 7 tests we do that identify weak links in basic functional movements. The evidence-based tests are scored and compared to the general population. Why get the screening? The number one cause of injury is previous injury (ANYWHERE IN THE BODY). So, that ankle sprain you had in high school can haunt the rest of your body now. Following your FMS testing, you will receive exercises to correct dysfunctions to improve overall performance and decrease the risk of injury.
5. BIKE FIT, RUN ANALYSIS, SWIM ANALYSIS
NOW is the time to get your cycling, run, and swim analyses done. Since you don't need to work on speed at the moment, learn where you can improve so have all recovery season to work on technique. Ideally, you should have proper technique solidified and performed unconsciously BEFORE you start tempo, threshold, and anaerobic training for the race season.
6. VARY YOUR WORKOUTS AND MAKE THEM FUN
Sign up for some "fun" races such as cross country, cyclocross racing, and open water swims. Take long hikes, take up mountain biking, join a Pilates class, do yoga, play soccer or tennis. The bottom line is to keep moving and introduce activities that involve rotation and side to side movements as these are rarely worked in triathlon, but needed for balance and stabilization.
This is the perfect time to work on improving the key areas that are prone to restrictions such as the hips and thoracic spine. We prefer active mobility exercises rather than static stretching.
Once you gain mobility, now it's time to work on areas that are prone to become unstable such as the pelvis, lumbar spine, and scapulae. Stability doesn't necessarily mean strength, it means firing the right muscles at the right time to control joints and bones.
9. SLEEP TRAINING
Sleep is not given the credit it deserves as part of training. Now is the time to learn how to develop good sleeping habits and stick with them throughout the recovery season. Hopefully by racing season, you will be able to maintain good sleeping habits to recover faster before your next hard workout or race.
Have you ever thought about what you put IN your body during training and racing? This is a good time to "reset" your gastrointestinal system and cleanse unwanted toxins and heavy metals. A good resource is Tamar Cohen at TriHolisticNutrition.comHave any questions? Feel free to comment below and we will get back to you ASAP!