It’s official: I’m now in my off-season. I’ve cut back on training time and lowered the intensity of my workouts. So far the transition has been quite an adjustment which I guess shouldn’t be a surprise.
During my triathlon season I found myself training between 2.5 – 4 hours/day. Now I’m training about 1 – 1.5 hours/day. Since I’m not working my body as hard, I don’t need as much sleep. And I’m reducing my caloric intake.
The off-season has its benefits. My newly freed up hours allow me to spend more time on work and other interests. Also, I can exercise with MLH more often which is really nice.
At the same time, these changes have been a bit challenging. I don’t recall feeling like this at the end of my 2011 season. I think it’s because my training was not nearly as intense nor so time-consuming then.
Reducing my calories has been easier than expected because I’m not nearly as hungry as I was between February – August. However, during the season I pretty much burned off all of my desserts and cheat meals (e.g. burgers) with great ease. (I did pay the price for eating such food during my actual workouts!) If I want to maintain a healthy weight I should decrease the number of sweets and other “less healthy” foods I eat.
And to truly benefit from the off-season I need to be mindful about holding back during my training sessions.
I think the hardest change has to do with this special time I have with Noah. And the fact that all of this physical activity — pushing, challenging and strengthening myself — is so healing and comforting. In many ways I feel like I have a bigger void than before.
But I really do need to allow my body to rest and repair in order to keep it as healthy as possible so I can continue training and racing for as long as possible. I’m trying to let my entire body fully recover from this season of triathlons.
I’m starting to think my off-season workouts are precious in their own way given these changes.
I fully admit, though, I’m already very much looking forward to next year’s triathlon season.