Little over a week ago I concluded my 2013 triathlon season at the Amelia Island Olympic triathlon (details here). While it had a disappointing conclusion, I can honestly say I have had a great first season as an athlete. I follow allot of aspiring and armature athlete and triathlete blogs and for the past couple of months, one by one, the end of the season has been the focus in numerous posts. I picked a very late season race to finish my race so I am just now getting to the end of my season. One thing I noticed in a good deal of these blogs was an occasional sense of loosing control and letting go. I noticed a fear of letting things go too far, diet and training wise. What I realized from reading the tribulations of other bloggers was that I needed an exit strategy, a plan to handle my off season.
The off season is basically, in my opinion a time to recharge and get ready to start training again. Its a time to loose or loosen the schedule and refocus. For me the off season provides an opportunity to reconnect with the wife and buy me some much needed points with the wife that can be spent later when training ramps back up. Of course its also a time to heal and fully recover. Most of the literature indicates the off season should be unscheduled workouts, with reduced training hours. But I cannot go completely unscheduled and without goals. I need those to get me to the start of next seasons training.
To keep me focused and on track I have decided that I will focus on preparing for a half marathon on Thanksgiving. Thus this will shift my workouts from three bike, swim and run workouts to focusing intensity into my running. Additionally, during my triathlon training I often do not get much time for weights, so I will ramp up that effort as well, keeping this in the high repetitions range. While I will have a basic schedule it involves very little of swimming and biking, maybe a high intensity or technique workout each week.
The other part of this plan is to break my weight loss plateau. I seem to have a very difficult time with weight loss during my triathlon season and currently I sit somewhere between 288-294. I think with a reduction in long endurance workouts and an increase in high intensity interval training, along with a careful calorie restricted diet, I should be able to slim down a bit more before beginning the next phase of training. For now I plan to shoot for a flat 280 by January first. That would be ten pounds in a little over two months. Should be able to loose more, but I want to keep this goal simple for right now, as the holidays are around the corner.
Key Exit Strategy Components
- Running is the focus and should involve a pacing workout, interval workout and long workout. This will lead to the Atlanta half to be ran on Thanksgiving day!
- Reduce biking and swimming to one workout a week. Might go for a weekend ride, but this is for fun without a training goal.
- Two weight sessions a week, sticking to low weight and high reps. Third session will be cardio/total body Aqua fit class in the middle of the week.
- Need to do allot of stretching and foam rolling to heal the hips a bit more.
- One Pilates session per week
- Careful diet watching calories and making smart food choices, want to get to 280 by end of year.
- Start planning next season
- Have fun and do not get too focused on numbers, its the off season.
That’s pretty much my exit strategy and what I plan to do to prepare for the next round of training. In my opinion this is organized and goal driven without the push for volume that my usual training had this year. This should keep me challenged but allow me to refresh my energy concurrently. I tried to identify off season goals that could have a slightly different tone and focus and I think I have succeeded pretty well with that. By the time January rolls around I will be good and ready for some hard and long training sessions. Til next time.
Do you have an after season exit strategy? Advice for mine? Leave it in the comments please.
- Topics You Won’t See on Triathlon Websites (trimadnessblog.wordpress.com)
- AmeliaMan Olympic Triathlon Race Report: Not the End of Season I was Hoping For (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Lake Lanier Sprint Triathlon Race Report (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2012-2013 Long Term Goals Revisited (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Savills triumphs at property Triathlon (savills.co.uk)