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Off Season Training for Triathletes

As the racing season comes to an end for most, there is always the question on how to go forward with training into the holidays and what some call the off season. My personal view is for most age groupers, there should not be an off season- a period of time where no consistent training takes place. I think it is much more optimal to spend time resting and recovering, but keeping the "key in the ignition". I like to call this the “after race season”. This means a lighter training load that is more focused on form, always working on consistency. During this time athletes should shift the emphasis to more technique based training, as well as cranking down the structure a little with how we do our sessions.
November 13, 2016

Why we it:

We believe consistency is king when it comes to long-term improvement and progression in triathlon and this article underscores that point while also pointing to off season as a time to work on skills and strength.

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What I learned in the off season

I grew up swimming. From the age of three I was involved in swim programs. That swim career lasted all the way through college, where I competed for UCLA as part of their prestigious swim team and competed at the Olympic Trials in 2012. However, as a swimmer, I never had a "post-season". We trained, and we trained hard all year round. I was lucky if I got Christmas Day and New Years Day off!

So, when I started triathlon, the concept of "post-season" was completely foreign to me.
November 13, 2016

Why we it:

The Habit Project contributor, Laurence Delisle, shares an honest recap of how she improved by focusing on skills while also having fun in the off season.

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5 Things Triathletes Should Not Do in the Off Season

When I started training for IRONMAN triathlons in the late 90's in Virginia, I was jealous of all the triathletes who lived in warmer locales like Florida and Southern California. Why? Because those triathletes could train and race year round without the inconvenience of snow and freezing temperatures.

The winter weather forced me to take breaks in my triathlon training and racing. I remember struggling with the feelings of frustration that I was losing fitness and falling behind my warm-weather friends. In hindsight, I'm glad the forced breaks were there.
November 13, 2016

Why we it:

Balanced advice around staying active and maintaining a swim, bike, run and nutrition routine while also acknowledging that lower stress training needs to happen during the off season to recover and bounce back for the upcoming year.

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Seasonal Progression

At purplepatch fitness we take a long-term view with amateur athletes preparing for a season of races. The training is planned around a theme of seasonal progression rather than prepping each athlete for a series of individual races, training pinball-style from one race to another! With that “progression” in mind, each year, the athletes will not be 100% race-ready every time they hit a start line. The triathlon season is just too long, plus we do not want to compromise the year over year progression. However, the goal is to hit peak form for that season in time for the ‘A’ race of the year.
November 13, 2016

Why we it:

This article from purplepatch fitness breaks the triathlon year into four distinct periods and the kind of training you might be doing during each phase.

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Take a Break

Most athletes, professionals and amateurs alike, should consider taking a couple of weeks completely off, with zero structure, after their last race. It is an excellent way to take some downtime, shed fatigue, spend time with family and friends and just recharge the batteries in general. We cannot and should not try to maintain race fitness year round. That is a surefire way to end up injured, uninspired and burned out.
November 13, 2016

Why we it:

We love purplepatch's mantra of "two weeks, not two months". A season break is great for the body but you should resist the temptation to give up activity and let your diet slide for multiple months, otherwise, it will be harder to make year over year improvements in your triathlon fitness and skills.

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Regular Meditation More Beneficial Than Vacation

As mindfulness meditation and yoga have become mainstream and more extensively studied, growing evidence suggests multiple psychological and physical benefits of these mindfulness exercises, as well as for similar practices like tai chi and qi gong.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses analyzing hundreds of research studies suggest that mindfulness-based interventions help decrease anxiety, depression, stress, and pain, and help improve general health, mental health, and quality of life. These practices also appear to reduce inflammation and increase immune response.
November 5, 2016

Why we it:

Ask the scientists why meditation is good for you. Research suggests it's more than just a way to step back from the chaos...

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Meditation for Beginners: 20 Practical Tips for Understanding the Mind

The most important habit I’ve formed in the last 10 years of forming habits is meditation. Hands down, bar none.

Meditation has helped me to form all my other habits, it’s helped me to become more peaceful, more focused, less worried about discomfort, more appreciative and attentive to everything in my life. I’m far from perfect, but it has helped me come a long way.

November 5, 2016

Why we it:

Check out these 20 tips from a meditation guru that will help you start practicing meditation and continue practicing it.

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7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change the Brain

The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now, with new studies coming out just about every week to illustrate some new benefit of meditation. Or, rather, some ancient benefit that is just now being confirmed with fMRI or EEG. The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Below are some of the most exciting studies to come out in the last few years and show that meditation really does produce measurable changes in our most important organ.
November 5, 2016

Why we it:

Skeptical about meditation actually having any real benefit? Check out this article for the science behind meditation then let us know if you changed your mind.

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Free Guided Meditations

For an introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own, turn on your speakers and click on the "Play" button.
November 5, 2016

Why we it:

Self meditation is now at your fingertips - just press play!

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How To Meditate

With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate! But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused.
November 5, 2016

Why we it:

Use this website to learn more about meditation, how to do it, and find classes near you.

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