Planning for Next Season Begins Now
by Marilyn Chychota McDonald
Most everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is closing out their race seasons (or already has). Now is the time to consider an off season. The definition of "off season" may vary from athlete to athlete, but the basic gist for almost everyone is that the next "season" is many months away and your current motivation is changing.
Steps for Closing Out Your Season
Here is the golden ticket: What you do through the winter months will be what sets you up for is gains in the upcoming season.
Clearly plan out the steps you will take to address your limiters from the previous season and understand how are you going to get to that next step.
If you are locked into winter and your limiter is endurance you may need to plan a couple camps to somewhere warm throughout the winter to hit the road for some miles.
If you lacked strength and power you may be looking at hitting the gym for a block and including a power specific phase to your winter build.
If body composition played a part in your year now is the time to make changes in your diet and build the habits, routine and make changes.
You may be looking at hiring a coach or nutritionist. The break immediately following your season end is the time to do this so that you and your coach have the winter to build and work together for your next season.
Clearly outline the steps and training blocks of your off season so they are well paced towards your year's goals and months you want to peak. The two most common errors are letting too much time pass before doing anything and falling too far away and the other is going at it too aggressively too quickly and burning out before the spring arrives.
In addition to addressing your weaknesses, look at doing something fun and different that can be beneficial towards your mental freshness and your goals. For example, skate skiing, snow shoeing, indoor climbing, or boxing classe are cross training activities you can do through the winter to keep it fun and move your body a bit different than the normal routine.
Set up your winter for success and you’ll see the following year's goals and targets be set up for success.
Marilyn is now accepting applications for 2013 coaching slots. You can contact her via e-mail.
Marilyn McDonald has been in elite sport since the age of 9, from show jumping to cycling and triathlon. Competing on an international stage in all three sports with an Ironman title, several podiums and state championships in cycling, Marilyn works with all distance and level of triathletes and cyclists. From beginners to elites; short course, bike racing, stage racing and long course triathlon, she has guided several athletes to the podium and to Hawaii qualifications.