Triathletes train and race from spring to early fall.  Summer vacations start and end, taxes get filed, gear is purchased, triathlon training DVD is given to you for Father’s Day and then fall begins to loom like a cold fitness thief looking to fill your body with holiday meals, cocktails and lazy days on the sofa.  Triathletes want to stay fit in the offseason, but most look forward to the lack of regimen associated with the offseason.  There are a few activities that can really help you maintain your fitness, power, increase quality time with loved ones and overall health.

In addition to gifting yourself a copy of the Triathlon Training Series – Strength Training for Triathletes DVD, here are the top 3 offseason activities you can do with your family and maintain your fitness.

Hiking

Hiking is something that is one of the activities that comes easy to most triathletes.  It’s an activity that can be done in a morning or an afternoon alone or with your loved ones.  There is nothing like spending some good time chatting, laughing and exploring with spouses, loved ones and kids on the trail.  Most cities and towns nowadays have a trial system of some sort.  As long as you plan your route, carry enough water and go as slow as the slowest member of your group, you’ll be able to maintain group cohesion and get a good workout.  Stepping up, down and to the side helps strengthen muscles in your legs that usually don’t get attention with triathlon training and racing.  Additionally, it will help your balance.  Don’t forget to take a camera and a reusable water bottle.

Backpacking

Similar to hiking, backpacking adds a few extra layers of challenge.  If your family or friends are fans of spending a night or two in the backcountry and not car camping, this is a great relationship builder and strength workout.  Because you’ll end up carrying many more pounds on your back, your legs and stabilizer muscles are going to get a wonderful workout.  One thing to remember with backpacking is that safety and planning are paramount.  Know the weather, know the route and inform friends or coworkers of your route.  The Sierra Club recommends the 10 Essentials for backpacking and hiking.  It’s a GREAT place to start.

Skiing

This is an activity that applies to triathletes that already know how to ski.  As those that already know how to ski can attest, this is an amazing core, quad, hamstring and cardiovascular workout.  One should be careful when skiing as there can be times that knees become injured and you don’t want to ruin your upcoming triathlon season.  Ski vacations make for great memories with loved ones.  These are the moments that are documented with photos in the living room or on the mantel.  Have fun, but be safe.  Don’t forget to stretch before and after.

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