Sunday, November 23, 2014

Reflections Triathlon Offseason

Apparently I missed an important date that was the date in which offseason officially started. The reason I know that I missed this is because everyone is already doing it am I am only just now catching up!  If you don't know what offseason is it's when triathletes take anywhere from 2-weeks to 2 months off from their normal training regimes. Most people typically won't stop training or exercising entirely but most will greatly reduce the amount of time and intensity invested in the pursuit/addiction that is triathlon. The theory behind offseason is basically that there are no more major races until spring, also that it is the end of the year meaning that most people's 2014 plans will have been executed and time needs to be spent resetting mentally and physically for the upcoming 2015. Some commonly understood activities of offseason that don't apply to the rest of the year include:

It Is Offseason There Is No One Here!

  • Stop working out! (Seriously stop it!)
  • Ok if you're going to do anything mostly do high intensity work on your weak area, for me that is a couple days this week swimming. 
  • Sleep in. 
  • Plan your next race season, I use you can find me there. 
  • Plan your workout schedule, factor in changes to your life in the coming year. 
  • Drink lots of beer and find some of that weight you have been avoiding during training season.
  • Catch up on everything non-triathlon (reading, work, hobbies, friends, family, etc.)
  • Meditate on your prior year.

Let's face it if you are like me taking a break off from training means that you've just rediscovered a whole lot of free time. Even a moderate training regime takes up about as much free time as any serious hobby. This is why most triathletes I know obsess about productivity and lifestyle planning. This sounds great in theory but as anyone who functions under a loaded and stressful schedule will tell you there are sacrifices to be made. For me a common situation is where I have predetermined a plan or course of action; however, as a result of the demands of the program once I am involved in it I have trouble taking a step back properly to reassess. This is one reason why I utilize coaching and another reason why an offseason is so important to me. I will never be as able to properly assess my results and the effectiveness of my plan as when I am completely removed from the day-to-day grind of completing those set of objectives. At a minimum your offseason should be at least two weeks in length, but more importantly when you return to training and competing make sure that you are genuinely refreshed, refocused, and better attuned to what you need to be doing this coming year.