Friday, December 7, 2012

Off Season

I get asked a lot what I do in the off season in terms of training, recovery, etc. And honestly, it has evolved over the years. Entering my fourth year as a pro, it is much different from what I used to do during my days as an amateur. The main difference is my understanding in the mental need for recovery. I ask an extreme amount from myself all year long - both mentally and physically. If I do not take time off, come race day at some point in the season, I just will not want to push, or even start.

So here is what I have been up to:
  • Running - I have not run a single step since IMAZ. That's 3 weeks where I have not run, and I might take another week off as well. Partly I am working on rehabbing an ankle that was giving me trouble, partly I just needed a break.
  • Swimming - I have been in the pool five times since IMAZ. This week included two swims of 3,000m each. My first swim back was 1,000m - get in, swim a few, get out.
  • Riding - I've done this more than anything, but mostly because it is convenient to hop on my bike and lazily ride down the coast for coffee or ride to work. I actually had my longest ride yesterday since IMAZ - it was 3 hours.
  • Strength - I'm working on getting my ankle strong again, but that is it. I haven't felt like entering a gym yet. There is plenty of that to come, but not yet.
  • Rehab - I have been aggressive in fixing my ankle. I have been doing PT 2x/day, I have been to see Dan the Man for some ART, I have experienced the pain that is Graston (this deserves its own future blog post), and I have spent a lot of time stretching.
  • Little things - I quit taking my multi vitamins, going to bed so early, and paying attention to all those little details that during the season are important, but in the off season I enjoy letting them go.
  • Fun stuff - I went to the swap meet, I've been working on some projects at home, and mostly just enjoyed having more time to reconnect with friends I have not seen in a while. If I feel like doing something, I try to make it happen, if not, I skip it. Just having no plan or agenda is nice for a change.
Swap meet fun.
I am headed to SF this weekend and will be headed to Europe for ten days at Christmas. A holiday with no bike box to drag around the airport, and just fun sightseeing with friends. After all of this, I will dive back into training. At that point I will be ready to hit Ironman training hard again. For now, I am enjoying the break.