I have been giving a lot of thought to what I want to get out of next year as far as training and racing. It’s funny, the racing season isn’t even over for 2009 and I have most of my 2010 schedule already mapped out! But it isn’t just about putting races on the calendar, it is about going bigger and getting better. And the one of the prime times to work on oneself as a Triathlete, is the off-season.
In the latest issue of Triathlon Life (Fall 2009) there was an interesting article that encouraged triathletes to focus on three essentials for the off-season: recover, try something new and work on your weakness. I am taking the article to heart and making it a priority to do all three.
Recover: For the majority of the year we are training and/or racing and taking time off is difficult. The off-season is the perfect time to give the body the break it needs. Allow yourself to physically and mentally recover. This doesn’t mean do nothing (although, that is okay too!), it just means don’t obsess over a schedule. Take some time to just be active without looking at it like “training”. Do what you feel like, when you feel like it. Staying active will make it easier to jump back into training when it is time but won’t leave you feeling burnt out too soon in the season.
My recovery plan: I fully intend on taking two full weeks off after the Philly half-marathon. After a nice little break my plan is to take a few more weeks just having fun with my work-outs. I have two fun 5ks planned for early December and I figure if I want to swim, I’ll swim…if I want to spin, I’ll spin…I am just going to leave it up to how I feel each day. I have a half-marathon in February and my training plan for that will begin at the end of December. Beginning in late winter, I’ll start adding in more swimming and biking. Full training for triathlon will be back in effect as of the beginning of April.
Try something new: The off-season is the best time for cross-training. Sure, most triathletes cross-train throughout the year, but now is the time to dedicate oneself to something outside of the swim-bike-run.
What I am trying that is new: This winter, I will be skiing and taking pilates. I have skied a few times but it was over 15 years ago and I have been dying to get back on the slopes for a while now. I have one ski trip planned but am hoping to get out there a few times over the winter months. I am also going to try out pilates. Yoga and I do not get along, it is too slow for me and I have been known to fall asleep in class. Pilates has a good reputation and a few of the women in my Tuesday morning spin class talk about the great class at my gym. In addition to this, I am going to work really hard on my core training. I have decent abs but my core in general could use some work. I plan to devote two full work-outs a week to core training, the pilates class being one and another on my own.
Work on your weakness: This is not suggesting that one spends all their free time on one sport, but the off-season is the best time for a set period of focus on the weaker sport.
My weakness work: My weakness this year is the same as last…the bike. I have come so far but still have a long way to go. My goals are to continue to attend spin class, work with videos on a trainer at home and when the weather is nicer, get out on the bike more often. Specifically, I want to work with clipless pedals. By the time race season rolls around, I am hoping to be more confident and less fearful on the bike and in turn be more efficient in my riding skills.
How about you bloggies? Are you planning to and/or looking forward to taking a break? Plan to try anything new or work on any weaknesses?