Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Off Season - what is that?


off–sea·son
a time of suspended or reduced activity; especially :  the time during which an athlete is not training or competing

What does the off season mean or look like? Depends on the athlete, your current season and next season.  After your last big race of the year is when you  "off season" begins.  My advice don't make any decisions about the off season for 2 weeks. 1 week post race you either still have not unpacked your gear and bike or you maybe dreaming of not losing all this great fitness and feel ready to go.  Generally 2 weeks post IM are a better indicator.  Also consider when is your first A race in 15?  March vs May is very different.

The goal for the off season is to physically heal up but really mentally to take a break from a rigid schedule of swim/bike/run- early AM's, long weekends.  If you want to swim swim, if you don't don't.  2 weeks post IM I don't like any schedule- just cap your workouts at an hour and no running for at least a week.   If you are nursing any injuries NOW is the time to let them heal.  4 weeks off running now is doable but mid season is a game changer.
Now is the time to plan...if you do nothing that is okay but be sure to include that in your build phase for your next season- it will take longer.

 If you want to work on a weakness- have a plan for 4-8 weeks a strategy. This is a great time to work on your swim technique while you are not worried about fitness- commit to 4-6 swims a week 30-40 min and work on technique- get a few swim lessons and really commit to getting more efficient.  Do a few running races- 10K's or 1/2 marathons.  Bike 5-6 times a week.  A single sport focus on your weakness is ideal and back off on the other 2, it's okay.  Have fun... relax and don't be so regulated.
Ride without power, leave your Garmin at home- just run, hit the trails. Swim OW or get out early - less stress now allows for a serious season. 

Do yoga, work on strength It's okay to gain a few pounds, especially if you got really lean for your last race. Now is the time to have some wine, more dark chocolate, be less vigilant. Why?  So when it comes time you are ready and willing.

What does my offseason look like?  Been on my bike 5x in 5 weeks, swimming 1x a week max, running in the trails nearly every day with my dogs... go garmin and no clue how hard or ez, just having fun!