A wise man once said that triathlon is a winter sport that is merely played out in the summer. This is meant to remind athletes that while summer training is important, consistency throughout the colder months is much more crucial to summer success.
Podiatrist Dr. Nick Campitelli recently tweeted, "What is the most crucial part of Hal Higdon's 12 week marathon training programs? The six months leading up to it."
With strong training during the winter, it would even be feasible for an athlete to have an early season peak and a late season peak, with enough time for recovery between the two. The below quote is actually from an old Endless Pool review, but it speaks of the importance of good training during the winter.
Kenny Glah and Jan Wanklyn have one of these pools. They've got a StarTrac treadmill and a Computrainer as well. All down in their basement. They can do an Ironman down there. Longtime triathletes hate racing Glah in the early season. He emerges from his stealth basement like an axe murderer--not having been seen by any living soul (save his family) for three months--fit as a fiddle and ornery from cabin fever. "He does so much training down in that basement," says Tinley, "you could mine salt down there."
What tools and tactics do you use to stay consistent with your training during the off season?