Hello LAVA Community,

It is time to talk some more about the off season because some people were lucky enough to race in Kona or picked a late race elsewhere. For everyone else I will map out some general thoughts about training during winter time.

I want to start out by saying that I would assume everyone who reads this to be training close to year-round in the pool. In my mind and from a swim coaches point of view I think the “off season” should consist of no more than 3 weeks without being in the pool. That is how it is done in the best swimming programs around the world. Yes, most of you are triathletes but it makes a ton of sense to take a closer look at what the specialists do to be successful in each individual sport. However, I can see that the season for a triathlete is very long and that the consistent focus in three disciplines can get very demanding. For those of you who want to take a step back from your normal swimming routine here are some thoughts that make sense while swimming a little bit less over the next weeks.

  1. Hit the gym. I think the time for good strength foundation for the 2017 season is now. If you want to substitute one swim per week for additional weight session I would be a fan of that idea. Most of you have such an amazing generic endurance level that you don’t need to get straight back into base work again. Work on some additional horse power instead and try to carry that over into the spring.
  2. Don’t be afraid to polarize more during your swim training right now. Swim slow and technically correct and add some very fast high intensity sets here and there in order to increase your speed. This will go very well with the increase in strength training.
  3. Generally shorten your swims a little bit and use that extra time at the pool to work on your core and on your flexibility. A poor range of motion is one of the key differences between a great swimmer and someone who would love to be great swimmer. The same is true for core strength. A fast swimmer with a weak core is a very rare sight so take a picture if you happen to see someone like that :).
  4. Add some fun into your swim work outs. Build in some relays if you happen to train with a group of people. Maybe come up with a mix of swimming and land training. A set that would come to mind would be something like 8*100 with 8 push ups at each wall for the odds and 8 squad jumps at each wall for the evens. Man that actually sounds pretty hard just writing that down but you guys can handle it I am sure.

So these are some tips for those who really had enough of the standard pool routine. Do yourself a favor and don’t stay out of the water for too long. The way back into shape will get longer and rockier the longer you stay out of the pool. That being said it is crucial to give your mind and your body some rest at the end of the season.

Enjoy and until next week.

Jan Wolfgarten is the founder of Swimazing, a web-based swim coaching platform. Beyond his weekly column here, you can look into his detailed program offerings at swimazing.com

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