How Off-Season Triathlon Training Works

Off-season Triathlon Training Tips

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to triathlon training when competition is not imminent.

One says focus on hammering your strengths. If you're a powerful biker or a swift runner, then train your hardest in one of those areas and pay just enough attention to the others so that you can get through them respectably. For most triathletes, the least-anticipated event is the swim.

But another school of thought says the best thing you can do to reduce your overall time is to refine your weakest-event's technique in the off-season, when you're not worrying about putting in heavy miles on the road or laps in the pool. For instance, retaining a reputable swim coach during the off-season is a wise investment, according to many experienced triathletes.

Here are a few other off-season training tips:

Conditions permitting, use the opportunity to practice in open water -- natural bodies of water that don't provide the navigational cues of lane separators or markers. (Hint: Use on-shore landmarks or buoys as visual reference points.)

Test-out and wear-in any new equipment for fit, feel and reliability. Surprises are the last thing you want on race day.

Do hill or power workouts, enjoy group runs and rides and look for ways to vary your training -- including different sports (such as cross-country skiing or in-line skating).

Work out with weights to increase your power and improve lean mass -- but continue to include your other training workouts, as weights are mostly an anaerobic activity and don't build aerobic endurance.

If you 're looking for more information about triathlon training in the off-season and other related topics, follow the links below.

Related Articles


  • Chesney, Curt. "Using the Offseason to Improve." Sept. 26, 2008. (Sept. 5, 2010)
  • Karnazes, Dean. "Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner." Tarcher/Penguin, New York. 2006.
  • Mora, John. "Triathlon 101: Essentials for Multisport Success." Human Kinetics, Champaign, Ill. 1999.
  • Strauss, Rich. "Off Season Training." (Sept. 4, 2010)
  • Thom, Kara Douglass. "Becoming an Ironman: First Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event." Breakaway Books, Halcottsville, N.Y. 2001.