So what is the “Funk”?

Have you had a long triathlon (or other endurance sport) racing season or are you still racing now?

Not taking down time at the end of a long racing season or sometimes the end of the racing season by itself might lead to a state of “funk.”

Let me give you an example of what I mean by “funk”:

I feel tired and unmotivated. The days are colder and shorter. I intend to meet my friends in the morning for our 6 AM swim workout, but instead I hit the snooze button for more than an hour before giving up and just turning off the alarm. I turn on the TV rather than taking the time to dress up with tights and gloves to ride outside. I am exercising less now than in the fall, but I felt like I need to sleep more.

This was me a few winters ago.

Most endurance athletes experience the “funk” at some level at the end of their racing season.

Getting Out of the “Funk”

So what to do about getting out of a “funk?”

I think the key is both patience and action — patience to let the “funk” run its course and action to take advantage of reduced training time to start thinking about — but not obsessing about — next year.

The winter is an excellent time to:

  • Plan your race schedule next season (if not already decided by early race sell outs)
  • Establish and write down goals (along with a list of actions to meet those goals)
  • Work on improving swim, bike and run economy through drills, one-on-one coaching and other athlete feedback
  • Train weaknesses. For example, if running is your weakness, consider shifting to a run focus for a few months and running some road races over the winter to gauge improvement.
  • Finish all the home projects that you neglected during the summer when you were doing your long rides and runs on the weekends.
  • Have fun with your training and mix it up. Try something new. For example if you live in a southern state without much snow, travel north for some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
  • Improve positioning by getting a bike fit to improve position or a one-on-one swim lesson.
  • Sign up for running races to build speed and create mini-goals through the winter.
  • Focus on or develop other areas of “you”… read, hang out with friends, pick up a hobby, do something you don’t have time to do during the season.

When February comes around, don’t worry about not being the fastest swimmer in the pool, fastest cyclist on the road, or fastest runner on the trail. If you’re first key race is in June, then you should be fast and mentally fresh in June (think “crest”), not February.

Live life boldly and richly!


David B. Glover, MS, CSCS
ENDURANCEWORKS Triathlon Coaching and Training
Author of Full Time and Sub-Nine: Fitting Iron Distance Training into Everyday Life

…beyond what you knew you could do….

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