Vasco Vilaca, Julie Derron, and Richard Murray share their thoughts on the off-season, having already shifted their focus to the 2024 season.
Geraint Thomas made headlines by revealing that he spent most nights of his off-season drinking. This is something Julie Derron, the BMC-sponsored Swiss triathlete, couldn't relate to. After her last race in Phuket, Thailand, she did socialize with colleagues and friends but avoided excessive indulgence.
Murray also limited excessive drinking, opting to spend most of his time at home in the Dutch countryside. He found it peaceful and quiet—a much-needed break after a busy racing schedule.
Vilaca took a two-week break in October, spending time with friends in Sweden and family in Portugal. Describing his off-time as 'adventurous,' he engaged in social events, fun evenings, and activities not typical during the season, such as karting, bowling, dancing, and enjoying different foods.
All athletes agree that these off-season moments are crucial for mental and physical resets, ensuring they can perform at the highest levels in sports. Vilaca emphasizes, "With the Olympics ahead, I want to be extra focused."
In Vilaca's case, he'll begin his 2024 season earlier than usual to secure a spot for the Portuguese team relay at the Games. Murray also plans to start training earlier to maintain fitness over the winter with the Olympics approaching.
Derron, on the other hand, hasn't taken much time off since her last race in Phuket. While her training schedule remains similar, her environment will change. Instead of the Canary Islands, she'll travel to China for winter preparation with the Chinese National Team, guided by her coach Brett Sutton. “I am excited about the new training location, she looks forward to the benefits of altitude training and the excellent facilities in Kunming. 2024 is going to be exciting.”