Winter is the Best Time…

by Stephanie on January 22, 2014 · 2 comments

in Sports & Fitness

TO GET IN SHAPE!!!

If you want to do any races or athletic events this spring/summer now is the time to start working.  It doesn’t matter if it is triathlon, running, biking, or something else.  It doesn’t matter if you want to go farther or faster or just finish.  If you want to have good results during event season, you need to put the work in during the off-season.

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My high school swim coach used to impress upon his teams the importance of working out in the off-season.  He told us that to get in top shape took 16 weeks of training.  The season for girls is from mid-August to mid-November.  If you go all the way to state the season is 13 weeks long.  The most important races are 10 weeks in.  So it’s impossible to get in top shape if you aren’t training in the off-season!

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(On the left is me back in my competitive swimming days.  I miss this!)

Now, I don’t know where he got his information or how accurate it is.  I know you can see results in 2-3 months but it does take longer than that to really perform.  Regardless of the accuracy, the point he was making is still valid.  If you want to see results, you can’t take half or three-quarters of the year off of training.  Some time off is important to rest and recuperate but it is really easy to just hibernate through the winter and lose all of your conditioning.  Especially where it is cold and snowy!  Believe me, I’ve done it!

I think most people who run or do triathlons want to see improvement year over year.  I want to see better times this year than I did last year.  I want to be able to do more.  To make that happen we have to overcome the weather and the lure of the couch (so warm and comfortable!) and work out regularly.

In the off-season you want to maintain fitness and/or build a solid base for whatever events you have planned.  That way when it is time to start event specific training, you’ll be able to hit the ground running (haha).  There is nothing worse than not being able to complete the Day One workout of a training plan or to feel like you’re dying.  (I’ve done that too.)

So brave the weather.  Join a gym.  Work out at home.  Find a buddy to keep you motivated.  Sign up for a spring race.  Focus on your goals.  Just don’t be complacent.  Real progress can be made when its cold outside.  Besides, it’ll make you look even better in a swim suit you sexy thang :)

How do you stay in shape in the winter/off-season?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin January 22, 2014 at 10:44 PM

LOVE the swim team picture! I totally agree, winter is the perfect time to get in shape! I don’t know much about getting into shape within a certain number of weeks but my track coach always said you lose your fitness in half of the number of weeks it took you to get there…so if you’ve been training for two months…one month of no training will put you back to square one.

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Stephanie January 22, 2014 at 11:17 PM

Isn’t it sad how quick you lose it?! And amazing how many lessons we retained from our old coaches :)

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