Ever thought about what triathletes do in the winter? Hibernate, maybe? Or laze around doing nothing? Or even let themselves go entirely? The reality, of course, is none of those, because a widely known and apt adage from the sporting world tells that “summer winners are made in the winter”.
So after a brief break at the end of the season in the fall, the members of the WIKA TriTeam start training for the next run of competitions. Although there are a few highly dedicated athletes who’d rather not take a break at all, at the latest in the course of a long and exhausting season such a non-stop programme would take its toll.
So, the first order of the day is to recharge batteries, both mental and physical, and attend to minor aches and pains from the past season. Then, in the winter months, athletes generally devote themselves to basis training exercises, focusing on stamina, strength and speed. It is also particularly important to adjust training to climatic conditions. This means that a lot of the training is conducted, if possible, indoors to avoid rain, darkness and cold. This approach protects the immune system, which otherwise would be doubly taxed by physical exertion and the cold.
Only indoor training of course should be avoided at all cost, and less strenuous sessions conducted in the fresh air. The benefits of gentle exercise outdoors on the immune system are undisputed. It’s a matter of striking the right balance between indoor and outdoor activity. Finding that healthy balance isn’t always easy for triathletes here given their extensive training programme. The cold time of the year in Central Europe is simply too long for the intensive outdoor triathlon sport. Many athletes therefore opt to escape the cold at least temporarily by seeking training camps in warmer climes. In the winter months, the Canary Islands with their stable weather conditions, are ideal for this purpose. As spring approaches, the Balearics and Spanish mainland also make attractive destinations for triathletes.
The WIKA TriTeam at any rate has already headed south. Fabian Lotter, Thomas Sämann and Andreas Tschishakowski are training on the Canaries, Heiko Gerhart on the Balearics. Susanne Richter and Andre Moritz on the other hand have decided against a training camp this year.