For me, the 2019 triathlon season is over and my winter preparations are already starting. Now the question is always: What is the best way to get through the winter as a triathlete in the Netherlands? Here are a few tips to get through the winter period easily and well so you can be fit at the start of your triathlon competition in the spring.
1. Train with the weather conditions. Avoid training in the pouring rain. In normal weather you already consume a lot of energy during training and when cold rain and wind are added to that, the energy in the body runs out even faster. This can jeopardise the rest of your planned training during the week due to illness or fatigue. Change your cycling or running training into swimming training, for example. That is of course the beauty of triathlon. It has 3 parts so if one part is not possible that day you can always choose to switch.
2. Shift your focus to swimming and running in winter. In the winter, it's harder to go for a long bike ride in nice weather or in the evening. Therefore, you can give your running and swimming an extra boost in the winter by putting in a little more time. This doesn't mean that you don't have to cycle at all, but cycle when the weather is nice.
3. Indoor cycling. If you have an indoor cycling trainer, use it occasionally. Indoor cycling on an indoor trainer is often considered boring. To make this indoor training less boring, there are a number of ways to make it more fun. For example, watch a good action movie while cycling or use Virtual Cycling on Zwift if you have the necessary equipment. You can also make your training more fun by doing intervals on nice, harder music. Then you are more busy with the interval than with counting down the minutes you have left to cycle.
4. Use the gravelbike or MTB more often instead of the racebike. By riding your gravelbike or MTB in the woods, the training quickly becomes more intense. This will also keep you warm and it's a good interval training. Important point: Do not make the training too long. Because it intensifies quickly, a workout between 30 and 90 minutes is long enough.
5. Go running. Of course there are no triathlons in the winter, but there are a lot of nice running competitions. This can be cross country but also road races. To train for the triathlon, it is of course important to make a lot of hours. But do not forget to test yourself in a running race. If the result is good, this will give you extra motivation to work hard every day to be good in the summer.
6. Dress warmly for training on cold and wet days. It is better to dress too warm than too cold, because that costs even more energy in winter. Even more important is your post-workout care. After a cold or wet workout, shower immediately or put on dry clothes. This will prevent you from catching a cold or the flu. Recovery after training is also important. Recharge your energy supply immediately after your workout. You can do this quickly by taking a delicious recovery shake which you can prepare in advance.