• Dr. Pat McSweeney PT, DPT

Top tips for endurance athletes to maximize their offseason training.


1. Focus on strength/resistance training. This is all relative to your individual capabilities, but heavy resistance training has been shown to improve time to fatigue in longer distance events as well as improve overall energy economy. In addition to improved performance, soft tissue and bone resilience is greatly improved through heavy resistance training. Consistency in being able to train is key for high performance and anything we can do as athletes to reduce our risk of injury can pay off huge in the long term.



2. Road to recovery. Hopefully, with proper training and load management, we can get through the season relatively unscathed. While we are pushing our boundaries and trying to maximize our performance, minor aches and pains and even injuries can pop up throughout the season. The offseason is the time to take the necessary steps to facilitate recovery and improve upon our body’s strength/resilience in order to arrive next season in peak form. If you are dealing with a recurring injury or consistent aches and pains, getting an evaluation from a trusted health professional can be a good step in the right direction toward returning to consistent training.





3. Take time to try new things. Our bodies love variability in movement. If you are an endurance athlete, chances are you spend a lot of your time in the same sport. If you're a triathlete, luckily you have some inherent variability built in, but still spend many hours swimming, biking, and running. Of course, this is necessary and a key component to reaching our maximum potential as athletes in our sport. Specificity will always be a huge part of our training, especially as we move closer to race day. However, the offseason can be a great time to expand our athletic base of movement and try new things. Go for a hike or play a new sport. When it comes time to get back to “in season training,” your body will be glad to have the variety. You may even pick up some transferrable strength and skills.



4. Test your fitness in a reliable and repeatable way. There are numerous ways to do this, but the key is to be able to track and repeat these tests under the same conditions. This will ensure that results are reliable and gives you a measuring stick in which to improve upon.


“What gets measured, gets improved” -Peter Drucker-


If you are unsure on how to do this, or need some guidance, a coach can help point you in the right direction.


5. Make a plan and set goals. Lastly, and potentially most importantly, having benchmarks/goals and a plan in which to reach them is a critical piece to successful offseason training.


“A goal without a plan is a wish” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery-


Whether you are working with a coach or you’re a self coached athlete, having a destination and a roadmap to success will determine a great deal of your training over the next year.



There you have it. Some of the top pieces of advice and areas to focus on maximizing your offseason training. Whether you want to cross the finish line for the first time or you are looking to set a new personal best, we are here to help. For more information on how you can reach the starting line of your next race healthier and fitter than ever, email pmcsweeney@pro-activity.com or message us directly on Instagram @pro-activity_ohio.





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