Everywhere you look, leaves are changing, pumpkins are out, and it’s getting colder, and everyone is gearing up for a Turkey Trot!

That’s right, it’s off season. Most Triathlete’s change gears, take some time off, and focus on bringing their run form around with an off-season 5k, half or full marathon. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at Triathlete’s or TrainingPeak’s website and see how many different articles you can find on the off-season run?

May I suggest a different course of action?

Focus on the swim!

Yes, it’s the shortest of the 3 disciplines. Yes, most triathletes suffer through their swim sessions because they have to. But, here are 4 good reasons to focus on the swim in the off-season.

1. It’s all about technique

That’s right. Of all 3 disciplines, swimming takes the most skill. Skills are perishable. That means if you don’t use them, you lose them. Taking an extended time off, or greatly reducing your swim training can wreak havoc on your swim skills!

On the flip side, it takes a lot less time to maintain a skill than it does to learn it. So taking the extra training time now to refine your technique will pay off big time when tri season hits in full force!

This is also a good time to hire a coach. A swim specific coach, even for a few sessions, can help your technique greatly! Everyone can benefit from an external, objective set of eyes critiquing their form.

2. It takes time

We kind of already hit on this, but the only way to get better at swimming is to actually swim. Cycling and running have a lot of cross over between the sports, but swimming… not so much.

You have got to get in the pool and swim! Spend the time now, and thank me later.

3. It’s easier on the body

You’ve had a long season. Your body needs a break. You may even give it a full 2 weeks of no exercise! But if you jump right back into training like you use to, to build for next year, you are simply beating that body back down.

Running is hard on the body. The joints, tendons, muscles, they all get a beating when you run. Cycling can be the same way to a lesser degree. Swimming is by far the easiest sport to recover from! In fact, that’s why so many doctors recommend swimming to people who are recovering from knee injuries.

If you want to keep your body fresh for tri season but not lose that aerobic base, swimming may be your answer!

4. It’s less crowded

The previous points were all physiological in nature… this one is all psychological! I hate swimming with other people, even with a lane divider between us. My favorite swims were the ones where I had the whole pool to myself. Yes… that means even without that Water Zumba class over in the corner of the shallow end!

Most people don’t think of swimming in the fall or winter. Fewer people are at the pool. That means more time with the pool to yourself.

What are you focusing on for your off-season? Are you doing a single sport focus? Let me know which sport and why in the comments below or hit me up on twitter!

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