Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Off-Season, Day One.

Sunday was a recovery day, Monday is my usual day off, and so today, Tuesday, day three of no training, officially marks the beginning of a profound shift. We’re all familiar with economic terms these days, and know that two straight quarters of negative growth equals a recession. For an endurance athlete, more than two days off equals sickness, injury, or that other two-headed beast, the off-season. Taking a break now seems so counter-intuitive, while our fitness is at its peak; I had, arguably, the best race of my career the other day. But I know that it’s time for this season to be over, and the lessons I learned will make me a better triathlete in 2009, if I listen to what 2008’s races taught me. And the next few weeks hold the promise of something sweet: rest. Not too much rest, not, like, six weeks, but a good, controlled pattern of rest. That pattern looks like this:

This week: zero. Nothing. Really. Nothing.
Next week: some light swimming, a little time on my ‘cross bike, perhaps a ‘cross race at 75%.
Two weeks: One workout per day. Still just swimming and riding. Five days of Thanksgiving mountain biking with Amy.
Three weeks: Two light workouts per day, two ‘cross races over the weekend.
Four weeks (second week of December): Back to two full workouts per day, especially if my Plantar Fasciitis has improved.

For next season, I’m going to focus on training goals, instead of performance goals. Most of us are familiar with Peter Reid’s apocryphal quote that “With training comes confidence.” The last two months, with their 12-13,000 yards of weekly swimming, and 40-50 miles of quality run training, gave me the confidence to push it on the swim and run. My bike training has always been pretty good, and those 315 watts point to a solid bike split (my aerodynamics, it appears, say otherwise; friend Brandon, in response to a question about how my bike split could have been so slow, rejoined: “Headwind? Flat tire? Fat?” Touché, Brandon. The off-season provides a great time to lose some weight).

My training goals, then, for next season, here on day one of the off-season.
1) Swim 4-5 times a week, totaling 15-17,000 yards per week.
2) Train like a real runner: higher mileage, more quality.
3) Maintain my bike strength, and play with aerodynamic options to develop a powerful AND fast bike split.

2009 Race Schedule on the way.

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