Winter training ideas for triathletes

Now that the clocks have ‘fallen back’, the winter months are here for the long haul (especially here in Scotland!) and our regular training routines can become more difficult to maintain. This is most obviously because of the colder weather and perhaps most awkwardly, the shorter daylight hours available.

However, these winter months can provide the opportunity to choose activities and alternative types of training that you would perhaps neglect during the rest of the year for various other reasons. A strength component underpins all of these suggestions as that is a key aspect to triathlon.

Some examples of what I now aim to include in my training for these next few months ahead are;-

Indoor turbo training. So called ‘smart trainers’ are now becoming increasingly popular. This is my first winter using the online gaming platform, Zwift and although I am in the early stages of using it, I am already enjoying the change from the more mundane turbo sessions I’ve always done (or critically – not done enough!) in the garage.

Strength/gym sessions. Throughout my early years of racing I didn’t commit to consistent gym work enough. Only now in my ‘twilight’ years do I truly appreciate the benefits to be had from a good core stability and rehab routine coupled with basic strength exercises. Not only to improve functional swim, bike and run power but more crucially, to help avoid injuries and niggles.

Run/cross country races. I find these a great way to break up the winter training, as they can provide a low key, local incentive to focus on, perhaps as an alternative to the usual ‘Sunday long run’. Last year I included a number of these, such as local league races, off road trail races plus the National Cross Championships as a more formal goal too. Weekly parkrun events are also an ideal event to look at too, with most towns now having at least one.