Most athletes might think that continuing to train after a peak race while in top condition will get them closer to their goals. In reality, a midseason break could be the best “training” you do.
It’s vital for your physical and emotional longevity in triathlon, which is different from other sports. Triathlon is a lifestyle that requires the time to prepare, train and recover for the three different sports. In addition to the physical recovery gained from a midseason break are the psychological rest and re-focus benefits.
Professional athletes who race year-round have been incorporating midseason breaks into their racing season for years. It’s not just useful for professionals toeing the line of multiple long-course triathlons in a year; age-groupers are often putting in similar hours of training and racing time, thus needing the same amount of rest. Here are some ways a midseason break is beneficial for any triathlete.
The ability to peak for multiple races. Whether you’re a pro or an age-grouper, it opens up the door for peaking for multiple races.
The time to refocus. Putting the training on hold allows you to remind yourself why you are committed to your triathlon lifestyle and what you gain from being a triathlete.
Rebuild your body into a stronger and healthier one. Taking a solid break after your period of training, tapering and racing makes you less susceptible to injury while fully rebuilding your body in preparation for your next training and racing block.
An opportunity to analyze and evaluate your season so far. Day-in and day-out training blinds you from objectively analyzing how your season and training has progressed. You will realize the good and the bad of the season so far.
Catch up on life. You can finally tend to those obligations and projects that have been weighing you down, or enjoy that family vacation. It helps with peace of mind and peace within the family.
How do I incorporate a break during the race season? The best time to take a midseason break is right after a peak race, whether it’s sprint or iron-distance. Try to plan your racing so that you can conveniently take your break and enjoy other life obligations that make training close to impossible.
A midseason break can be anywhere from a week up to two weeks. You can still be active, but don’t do any hard training or intensity work. Just remember not to jump in where you left off when you get back into training. You’ll need to build up again, but chances are, you haven’t lost as much as you think you have. In fact, it won’t take you long to see how much you’ve gained from taking that midseason break.