First – Happy Holidays to you and your families and thank you all for your support in the 2008 racing year. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be your coach and assist you in achieving your goals!!
What’s your off season look like?? Off Season to Florida athletes is an oxymoron…Off season – but “ I don’t need an off season”… ah! But your body does. I was fortunate enough to be on a webx last night with Mark Allen and Luis Vargas – way past my normal bed time! The essence of the call was goal setting and the off season.
The off season is a VERY important part of your training year, and key to your success for next year, depending on how you set your goals. It is also key to maintaining your health. – a good time to re-charge the batteries.
For instance, if you want to qualify for 70.3 World championships have you researched what your overall time will have to be? How fast will you have to swim? How fast will you have to bike and how fast will you have to run? What if your competition has their best day – you need to plan for that by 10%.
This is the time to look at your goals for next year. Where do you want to be at the end of next year? What is your big “A” race, and when is it. What do you have to do to get there. If your major goal for the year is qualifying for the 70.3 Championships in Clearwater, then you need to be thinking about what your race year will look like. When will you start to try to qualify – and what other races will you pick to do so if you Don’t qualify at your initial race.. how far apart will your qualifying efforts be. Can you still enter those races? Do they normally close early? How many races will you plan to do next year? Will you plan for adequate recovery time or race yourself into a “hole”.
A year or racing takes a lot of energy and focus. You need some time to let down and let your mind and body rejuvenate.
Change up your exercise, evaluate your individual strengths and limiters. Are you as flexible as you need to be? This is a good time to work on core strength, Pilates, Yoga, and Functional Strength training all play a role.
Do you need to work with an intuitionalist to really dial in on your nutritional needs. If you want to lose some weight now is the time – you cannot lose weight in the middle or a major training cycle.
You can take time off the bike and time off from swimming, but need to keep your running base. Since running is a contact sport and your tendons and ligaments are the last to get in shape, they are also the first to lose their fitness. This could cause injury when you gear up in the early part of the year. Running a minimum of 3 miles 3-4 times a week is enough to keep your run base.
Keep in mind that your body responds to variety in training, but will adjust to whatever you ask it to do.. so if you don’t mix things up you will NOT see any improvement in fitness. During the training and racing season we are training your aerobic and anaerobic systems, your carbohydrate, glycogen and fat burning systems and your fast twitch and slow twitch muscles.
If you have specific goals in mind for your training for 09, your training will take on new meaning. For instance if I have to run 9.5 min miles to qualify, I had better be doing it in training or I won’t be able to do it in racing. If you do this your mind will pull you toward this goal. This is the mind body connection. This as opposed to just going out and running – stopping when you feel like it with no particular pace or goal in mind.
Pat yourself on the back for all of your accomplishments for 2008 and access what you need to improve in for 2009. Come up with a list of goals to get you to your big event.
What will your time goal be? What can competitor X do on their best day? Be ready to go out at TIME X and prepare for perfection +5 to 10%.
The off season is ALSO a good time to get some running races in and recalibrate your “hard” meter.
So – enjoy your off season – set your goals for 2009 and give your mind and body some hard earned R&R!!