Transitioning to the Off-Season

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.

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