Sometimes you need a break from endurance training.
If you are heading into the off season and your goal is to drop body fat and get lean, then it's really important to take a look at the type of training that you're doing. You need to provide a different stimulus to your body and mix up the way that you're training.
The best way to do this is to shift your workouts from a focus on aerobic training to more anaerobic.
It doesn't mean that you can't have some long sessions here and there, but overall your day to day work has to be lower volume and focus on anaerobic work.
Anaerobic work is much higher in intensity and consists of short, hard efforts lasting 20-60 seconds. Rest time will depend on the overall intensity of the intervals.
The anaerobic workout has a ton of benefits post exercise.
Obviously you're burning calories while you're working out, but in the hours following that workout, there's a much higher rate of caloric burn.
Promotes lean muscle development. More lean muscle = higher metabolism, means you’ll burn at a higher rate throughout the day; not just when you're working out, but when you're at rest, when you're sitting at your desk, when you're walking through the mall, or when you're going about your daily errands.
If you have more lean muscle mass, you're going to be revving at a higher metabolic rate and that's the number one way to promote long term fat loss throughout the year.
Aerobic training does the opposite
It tears down muscle. You end up losing muscle mass. The eventual long term result is that in 5, 6, 7 years from now, you might weigh less than you do now, but you will likely have more body fat and less lean muscle. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat so don’t look at total body weight as an indication of your lean mass.
I’m not suggesting aerobic training is bad.
In fact, this is exactly what we need as we prepare for our endurance events. However, the off-season is the time to let go of your aerobic sessions and focus on developing lean muscle mass. If your goal is to race lean then consider some anaerobic work this off-season.
CRUSH IT ON RACE DAY!
Follow these 3 steps to improve your triathlon-specific running ability, accelerate your results and minimize the impact of fatigue