Following a long season you may decide to have a few weeks off to rest the muscles. Once recovered and rested however, be ready with a plan and commit to your training ahead.
Decide what events you are going to do this year and commit yourself to them. I would reccomend buing a 2015 wall chart and mark them on. They are now official and you have your goals to train for.
Build a training plan which you will stick to. If swimming is your weaker discipline it's worth proportioning more time to work on this as it could make all the difference in a race. Ideally you should look to do a minimum of 3 sessions per week, preferably 1 hour sessions and stick to them. If you are disciplined in training throughout the year it will provide you with the confidence at the start of the race season.
Try and train with someone who is faster than, or at least as competent as you. This will increase your drive to push yourself. It is a great way to boost moral as well. Training is tough at the best of times…let alone through the dark and gloomy months. Help each other to stay positive and keep up that competitive streak.
If swimming is one of the weaker disciplines, now is a good time to improve the technique. It's worth investing in a coach as you now have time to work on it without the concern of making any changes in the middle of the season. Technique can take seconds off your stroke and can also be the difference between winning and losing. Don't just settle for your old style if you feel it’s not efficient and effective.
Read more about the Adam Walker stroke here.
If you are finding nutrition an issue, now is the time to try different fuels. Make sure you train using them to see how your body reacts. Everybody is different and the same product won't necessary suit everyone.
Are you happy with your equipment? i.e. wetsuit, goggles, swimming cap etc. Now is the time to look at replacing them and trying out different brands. The 220 Triathlon Show at Sandown Park, Surrey and The Swim Expo at Event City in Manchester are two of the best consumer shows to attend for seeing the latest kit on offer.
The most important piece of equipment for me is the goggle and I have used Zoggs Predator Flex for all seven of my ocean swims. For me they provided the best visibility in all conditions and are the most comfortable for my face shape.
Read more about the new 2015 Predator Flex Titanium Reactor here.
The bulk of the training at this time of year should be in the pool, however with awetsuit you may decide you want to get the cold water immersion in early. There are many lakes across the country who run winter swimming groups. By getting used to doing small dips throughout the chilly months helps prepare your body when the competition season arrives.
This advice has been prepared by Zoggs Open Water/Triathlon Ambassador, Adam Walker, the 1st Briton to swim the toughest 7 oceans in the world. Adam will be coaching and offering advice at both the 220 Triathlon Show at Sandown Park, Surrey and at the Swim Expo at Event City in Manchester.