With the lower physical load of training, this is a great time to set the stage for improvements in the upcoming season. I believe in setting up just a couple of positive habits that can dovetail into bigger improvement gains across multiple areas. The post season should include a time of reflection on your last season--honest reflection on what you did well, and where you can improve. Honesty works, and can create a path of improvement looking forward. Often, the focus areas can be:
Many athletes fail to fuel properly following workouts, and it impairs recovery and adaptations as well as being highly stressful. Gaining knowledge into the importance of post-workout fueling and how to apply it is the first step, then commit to making it a true training habit. Remember, real food is king.
2. Daily nutrition.
A platform of healthy daily eating is important for your health and performance. You don't need to become a monk or abstain from your favorite foods forever, but learn about optimal habits, and begin to apply them into life. If your nutrition is falling by the wayside, the post season is also a great time to enroll in one of IRONMAN U's Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.
3. Commit to recovery.
When training stress is low, it's easier to establish positive recovery habits. Beyond the nutrition and fueling, other key factors are sleep and going easy enough is the lower stress training sessions. These are your foundations of recovery. Sure, they are modalities and recovery tools that help, but nail the basics first to set up success.
As you can see, there is no reason to get bored during the so-called "off" season. The post season is all about review, planning, and setting the stage for the season ahead. So much of a successful season will be built on what you accomplish now, even though none of your sessions will stand out as the toughest or most challenging of the year.
Don't miss this critical component of performance consistency--embrace and engage your post season now.
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