1. Setting goals too high
Typically after some offseason time off and your motivation returns as you begin in enter the prep-phase, you begin to plan your goals for coming race season. Weather your races from the previous went really well or didn’t go as planned, don’t make the mistake of setting crazy goals you know you probably won’t achieve. Instead make smart goals [link to goal article] that you know with proper dedication are. It’s perfectly fine to slightly adjust your goals as the season progresses, but dramatic changes in goals can quickly cause a loss in motivation.
2. Not focusing on limiters
I’m personally guilty of making this mistake more than once. After reflecting on your previous season it’s important to pick out what limited you from reaching you goals and/or what you can do better. Maybe you need to improve your climbing skills on the bike? Or you had a lower leg injury that held you back? Whatever your limiters are, these MUST address in the offseason if you want to perform better in the coming season. If you don’t address your limiters they will surly limit you again.
3. Training too much
During the base phase of training there is indeed a large focus on building your aerobic endurance through some long/slow training sessions. That being said MORE IS NOT BETTER when it comes to training volume. If you have extra time in the day, don’t think you need to fill it with more training but instead used the extra time to rest and recover. Too much swimming, biking, and running can quickly lead to overtraining and mental burnout. In addition to adequate rest be sure to incorporate other activates in your early season training such as yoga, strength training, and most importantly cross-training.
4. Eating too much
One of the biggest mistakes of triathletes make is using their training as an excuse to eat whatever they want. Just because you did a 3-hour bike ride, does not mean that plate of nachos and 3 beers isn’t going to affect you. In fact eating poor quality food after a training session can slow recovery time, cause weight gain, and just leave you feeling gross. Instead fuel your body properly, especially pre and post workout.
5. Training too little
Just as you can train too much, you can also train too little in the offseason. It’s common for triathletes to get a little lazy with training for they rationalize that training is not crucial as race season is still several months away. The truth is, building your triathlon base is one of the most important phases of your triathlon training. Missing just 2 workouts a week can quickly leave you falling behind the curve. Don’t get lazy with your training and take your early season workouts just as serious as you would any other time of year.