Last week we talked about becoming a better triathlete in the off-season.
This week, let’s discuss ways you can add variety to your triathlon off-season.
Give trail running or mountain biking a try!
Now is a great time to be on the trails, especially if you’re the type of athlete that always runs or bikes on the road. Both off-road versions help strengthen those stabilizing muscles that we don’t use as much while pounding the pavement. Going off-road forces our bodies to work a little differently because of uneven surfaces, thus strengthening the muscles that we don’t use while on even surfaces and moving only in a linear direction.
So, what other improvements will you notice? Mountain biking helps improve your handling skills and confidence, which will make cycling on the roads so much easier. Running on trails is softer than running on sidewalks so it won’t beat your legs up as much, which means you’ll have a quicker recovery post-run.
Trails come in all sorts of varieties; from green open spaces to technical single track in the mountains. So don’t be intimidated when starting out. There’s a trail out there that you’ll be comfortable with.
Want to add more variety to your triathlon off-season?
Try out any of these fun winter sports:
Cross Country Skiing
I have to admit, this is currently my favorite. And yes, my favorites do change every few years. Maybe next year it’ll be curling… or luging.
Anyway, if you enjoy cross country running, then you’ll definitely enjoy cross country skiing! It’s a total body workout and you will get a great cardiovascular workout while doing it. Need proof? The highest recorded VO2 Max values come from cross country skiers.
The best part about the sport? Stopping for hot chocolate to recover 🙂
Downhill Skiing or Snowboarding
Remember what I said about my favorites changing? These used to be my favorites at one time.
If you’re thinking you might easily glide down the mountain and stop at the lodge for a hot chocolate by the fire, you’re only half right. Downhill skiing and snowboarding will leave your legs burning! But similar to cross country skiing, you get to sip hot chocolate by the fire.
My advise, whether you know how to ski or not, is to take lessons. As a beginner, it’s important you learn the basics of stopping and turning so you can enjoy your day on the slopes (stopping is especially important. Take it from me…you don’t want to be on a ski lift with someone who does not know how to stop). If you’re a veteran skier, it’s good to freshen up and learn something new with a yearly lesson.
What, you never thought of ice skating as a workout? Those Olympians make it look easy. Take a lesson to learn the basics of how to turn, skate backwards, and skate on one leg. Just like with downhill skiing, your legs will burn.
If you’re itching to go out for a run but the snow where you live is preventing you from doing that, this is a great alternative. Keep in mind that it’s not as easy as you might think. Start with walking to get used to the snow shoes before deciding to run in them.
Comment below and tell us what your favorite off-season activity is.
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