What Next? The Off Season

October 6, 2015

The long awaited #LongRoadToAugusta finally reached its destination last weekend and that brings the question – what road will I take next?

After months and months of training (since July of last year actually), with weekends being occupied by either long runs or long bikes, with lots of early morning swim or runs, with some late night trainer rides, with a LOT of emotional upheaval, with every day’s focus dictated by training peaks, this is new territory for me. I won’t deny it, I’m looking forward to a few weeks of doing what I please. But I also feel lost and I have an insane fear of going back to the couch and losing everything that I’ve gained in these past 15 months. 

My one big goal for the fall/winter is – fundraising and training for the London Marathon. The fundraising is huge at $5000 and that will take up a majority of my time and effort. 

Enroute to London will be other races of course, but I haven’t decided yet what those races are going to be. 

So apart from a ton of running that I’ll be doing over the winter (hopefully a lot of it on the trails!), I plan to do the following. 

Strength and Core  - I want to go back to crossfit for 2 months to get a jump start, but part of me is hesitant because I know I’ll get sucked in and the next thing I know my runs will be far less weekly mileage than needed for marathon training. 

Nutrition – I know I say this every time. Sigh. I’m making every effort to drop lbs in the off season before marathon training picks back up. Pounds don’t mean much when you consider how much training has changed me internally. But in the long run, fewer pounds mean “free” speed. 

Off season biking and swimming – I don’t have big triathlon goals next year (no 70.3 on the calendar right now) but I’m definitely planing on some Sprint and Olympic distance races. My swimming needs improving – I’m at a beyond pathetic 3:27/100yds. I’m looking for a swim coach and willprobably join a masters swim team for 2 days/week if I don’t join Crossfit. Biking will mostly be indoors on the trainer – hopefully I’ll learn how to use technology and the trainer better!

Races for 2016 - I’ll be looking to figure out goals and races for 2016. Since the one big travel is April 24th for The London Marathon (fingers crossed), and given that Mr. FauxTriathlete does not like combining races with vacations, other races are likely to be local. 

Writing these down made me realize that I only have a plan for nutrition set up. The swim/bike part, I can work out with Mike or even just common sense based on time available and run training commitment. It’s the strength part that always confuses me – what to do and when and how much. Off to research and get a decent understanding!

Here are some general tips for you to structure your off season

  1. Make a game plan – don’t rush into signing up for the next big event (unless you’ve already made up your mind), but give it some thought on what you might want to do. 
  2. Strengthen your weakness – this is the perfect time to focus on that without the pressure of high volume weeks. Many triathletes take to indoor bike trainers for strength and mental toughness. 
  3. Don’t pig out - one day of celebration turns into a week turns into a month and before you know it, the discipline you had while training slips away. Get back into healthy eating habits as soon as you can, or start on it!
  4. Try something new – a class, or a trail run, or a cake decorating class. Take advantage of not having a life dictated by training plans. 
  5. There’s life beyond triathlon/running – *gasp* NO!! Is that even possible? But yes, it’s time for you to show some extra TLC to all those who supported you during those long training months.  

What do you do when race season ends? How do you stay motivated? What is next for you? Any suggestions on a strength training circuit for a triathlete/runner who has no strength? 

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