2020 has been a year no one was expecting and everyone’s year has been different to what they had planned but what should you do this fall when thinking about 2021? First off you need the mindset that there will be races in 2021, there are no guarantees of course, but even a make your own adventure kind of race is something that you can make happen in 2021. But what to do now depends on what you have done in 2020.
For those that have trained well this year and kept up a solid level of fitness the fall is a good time to have some downtime and a bit of a break. This is when you want to give your body and mind a little break to help refresh and reset. Take 1-2 weeks off completely, no swim/bike or run then ease back into things and slowly start to build for next year. This is the time of year to mix things up as well, ride your mountain bike, get a gravel bike and try riding some gravel, run off road, mix things up from your usual routes and routines, and just swim whenever you get the chanceJ.
For those that have had functionally a year off in 2020 you need to look at things differently. For one you’re rested now so there is no need to extend your “off” season! And secondly you have some work to do to catch up from having missed your year. So now is the time to start building. This doesn’t mean huge hours or a massive training load, but it does mean consistency and routine, getting back into the rhythm of training again, that’s a huge key. If you let things drift into 2021 and lose out on a full year of training you’re going to spend most/all of 2021 just trying to get that fitness back. If you get back into the groove again now you can be ready to race next summer when races are back on the calendar again.
This is when coaching can be beneficial to help give you the structure you need to get back on track and make sure you have a productive fall and winter so that you are properly prepared for the 2021 race season. If you struggled with focus and motivation this year it might help to get some professional coaching to give you the direction you need to make the most of next season and not let your fitness and performances slide away from you. If you want to reach your goals in 2021, what you do in the fall of 2020 can have a huge impact.
Nigel Gray has been coaching triathletes of all levels for 25 years and is Head Coach of NRG Performance Training