Wednesday, October 19, 2011

About The Off-Season

As triathletes and runners, do we have such a thing as an "off-season"?  We may look forward to less training, in volume and intensity, but can we afford to take "any" time off?

For me the answer is no. Not that I can't afford to take the time off because I sure I could, but I don't really want to sit around and do nothing.  After I finished Ironman Louisville I took what seemed to be just a few days off.  Mostly to rest my mind and refuel my spirit, to ponder and enjoy the immensity of what I had just gone through.  Yes, they were tired.

When the time came to get back to training I asked my coach to train me to run a sub 2 hour half marathon.  For those of you wondering what the big deal is... well, for me it's huge in two ways.  One, I have never trained or raced for time. It has always been to "finish" doing the very best I could.  And second I ran a 1:57:something three years ago and have not come close since.

I have three half marathons on my schedule already, but I have given up the idea of a sub 2 hr for a couple of reasons.  One... my heels are killing me. This is the first time ever I have to deal with pain, not discomfort but pure, intense pain.  Self diagnosis:  Plantar Fascitis.  I have a doctors appointment but not till mid November.  Don't they know we need things repaired, like today!  And second, running for time was stressing me out to no end.  I was not enjoying my training runs, at all.  This is not acceptable.

Another item on the off-season schedule is to plan next year's schedule.  I have started on that.


2012 Wish List

As you can see this schedule is not set in stone.  It has been written on a dry erase board so that it can be modified.  One thing is for sure, I plan on at least two Ironman 70.3 events.  The first one will be the Florida 70.3 Ironman on May 12th and the second is yet to be determined.

Strength Training will also be a big part of my off-season.  I did P90X last year and was extremely pleased with the results.  I have already started again, but I have added a few Insanity sets to the mix.  Just to keep it interesting.

I will train my weaknesses. I will concentrate on improving my swim.  It is still by far my weakest link. This does not mean that I will swim mega laps, for improvement in the water will only come from improved technique and this can only be achieved through drill specific sets.

During the past twelve months I learned more about Nutrition than I have during my entire life.  I am going to continue working on improving my eating habits.

And not last but definitely the most important part of my off-season will be my family.  During this year, they sacrificed a bunch to help me achieve my goal and dream.  When deciding what to do at any particular time, they will be the first choice.

So the plan for this triathlete's off-season is simple.  Family first, then whatever happens.  No structured training, no specific goals.  I will run for the fun of it, I will swim for the heck of it and I will spin/bike just because.  I will not stress.  I will not worry.  I will be happy!

What is your plan for the off season?  What will you do?

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