I’m sitting at my new desk I spent the better half of the evening putting together, with my new office chair (which I also just put together), steeping some great looking loose leaf yerba mate chai tea! Here’s what the scene looks like (with our first snow of the year in the background!) 🙂
So it’s getting to be that time of year, where the legs are getting a rest (and sometimes more importantly, the mind), the cold weather is setting in, and the days are about the get shorter! This is almost as important a time of year as race or peak week during the heart of the season! Rest is incredibly important to the body, it gives our muscle fibers a chance to repair themselves and our joints a break from all that pounding and stress we’ve put them through. If an adequate amount of time isn’t taken during the offseason, then the muscle fibers don’t get a chance to fully form those “cross bridges” with the Actin and Myosin. That’s the abridged version of it without getting too scientific, so anatomically and physiologically, it is very important.
It is also imperative that you give yourself a “mental” break from the training you have put in this year, too. Whether it be a solid year of cycling, triathlon, marathoning, or all three [may God have mercy on your soul, ((and joints)) ]. A good mental break from not thinking about training on a daily basis, planning your workouts, and just “indulging” a bit in food is good. It gives you good balance in life, and distinguishes a defiant difference between in-season strict habits and off-season lax (minimally lax) behavior. Cross training is a great way to still keep the competitive attitude during the offseason, but most importantly, taking a break from swim/bike/running, while having some fun!
I plan on doing a ton of running this winter (starting up seriously in a week and a half) along with a TON of cross country skiing and swimming. What are your plans for the off season? Even if you don’t plan on moving more than your hand to switch the channel in your lazy-boy (I personally don’t know any triathletes who don’t do anything in the off-season), it’s important that you have a plan. I have been doing some heavy training lately, high mileage runs and rides. It’s all for a plan, to see what my body can handle with minimal training, and to know my tolerance. With some mileage in my legs I know I can handle 100 miles a week on a consistant basis. Of course, being a triathlete that won’t happen (maybe ever) but I’m sure I’ll get close a few weeks when the schedule says run long. I’ll have to get close since my first marathon will be just over a year now!
I will be spending the next week and a half making up my periodization training chart. If your not familiar with Periodization, it’s breaking up your training schedule into periods during the year, so you peak for a few races. Periodization is by far the most effective training technique. Developed in Hungry around the late 1950s, Periodization soon become the most effective training method in the world. I will do an in-depth post of my periodization training chart within the next week, so be on the lookout for that gem! 🙂
Another thing that I wanted to discuss before I close here is music, and that some may listen to it when they ride or run and some don’t. I usually don’t, but when I’m running or riding at night, or doing a tempo workout I certainly love popping some jams into my ears. I recently came across a new music program called Spotify. They are new, maybe 3 months old, but are going really big already! They have a free 30 day membership going on right now for you to try the premium version for free! When subscribed to the premium version you get all the music you want. You can download it to your computer or iPod. You can also view what your friends are listening to via Facebook friend as well, it’s pretty cool, and I think a lot of people are going to catch on within the next year. Thought I would mention it right now while it’s still free…and it’s only $10 a month after that if you don’t cancel the free trial, not bad at all for ALL the music you could possibly want! I filled up my iPod pretty quickly already!
I’m going to incorporate a poll with my sign-off here…