Take a Break! December 01, 2021 14:37 Updated Follow Not signed in? Log into your Purple Patch account for full access to your education program for coaches and athletes. You need to sign in to view this page. With summer officially coming to a close in the northern hemisphere, it's a sure sign that the triathlon season is winding down. While there remain quite a few races on the schedule with a strong slate of fall IRONMAN races, including the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii, many athletes are thinking about the off-season and/or looking ahead to next season. Most athletes, professionals and amateurs alike, should consider taking a couple of weeks completely off, with zero structure, after their last race. It is an excellent way to take some downtime, shed fatigue, spend time with family and friends and just recharge the batteries in general. We cannot and should not try to maintain race fitness year round. That is a surefire way to end up injured, uninspired and burned out. Remain active: You don't need to be a couch potato during this season break period and continuing some level of activity is fine, but the idea is to take a complete break from the structure and rigors of hard training. Try some different activities: hiking, mountain biking, yoga, surfing, trail running etc. Indulge a little: A season break is a great time to indulge in a few treats, whether it's a few drinks, dessert with dinner or turning off the alarm and sleeping in during the mornings. However, it should not be a return to successive weeks of bad habits that result in poor sleep and dramatic weight gain. Two weeks not two months: The flip side to a successful, rejuvenating two week break is the break that turns into a two-month break because there wasn't a plan in place to navigate this time of year. You've worked hard to create great fitness during the season and we don't want to just let go of that completely. Rather, we want to allow time for physical, mental and emotional rejuvenation and shift our focus from race readiness to setting the stage for 2017. As naturally motivated and driven people, the trend is for triathletes to want to dive right back in training and work hard in the post-season. Now is a good time to take a step back and review your long-term plans. Our focus at Purple Patch is on athlete evolution. What this means is that we don't just put events on a calendar and bounce around from race to race. We want to structure our season such that we are ready for our key races during the year (maybe one or two peaks during the season). To do this, we spend the post and pre-season building our physiology - focusing on functional strength, skills, and general endurance - so that we have a great platform to build on as we head into early season races and begin to get sharper for our key races. If you're interested in joining us for the post-season, take a look at Purple Patch's available coaching options to find the right one for you. Resist the urge to maintain race fitness. It requires a lot of hard work to get our bodies in race shape. It feels good to be this fit and there is often an urge to maintain this level of fitness. Let it go. You have permission to dial back the training hours, spend time with friends and loved ones and yes, have a beer or a glass of wine. It is healthy to give our bodies a chance to relax and reset. The same goes for our mental being. Remember, this is not a license to completely tune out and take two months off. This is a chance to shift your focus. This month's Purple Patch newsletter contains more details on structuring your season break and how to transition into the post-season. Don't miss out and sign up for the monthly newsletter on our website.