It’s been only a few short weeks since Ironman Kona and I am having a tough time getting into the groove of not training as much and eating a lot less! It seems that it’s harder not to train than to actually get up and swim, bike and run, go figure.
I guess that training with a purpose for such a long time and maintaining that focused mental attitude gives me a sense of direction that really satisfies me but now, with no race around the corner I feel like I’m rambling on. I am really trying not to go crazy thinking about my next race or trying to improvise and singing up for more races now. I am now convinced that one has to respect the “off” aspect of the season in order to improve.
The problem for most of us is that in order to be good at this sport and compete at a high level the “offseason” is still part of the master plan to become a better athlete. That’s basically the only reason why there is an offseason. I read a thought the other day that actually made me think about this, “The QUESTION of the DAY? Does it takes as much discipline to make yourself rest as it does to make yourself train?
I have come to some conclusions as to what offseason means to me. The offseason is meant to recover both physically and mentally. We should enjoy doing sports activities with no pressure (no pace, time, distance) and just focus on the fun part. This way when the tough training comes back your mind and body will be prepared to handle it. It sort of gives your mind a breather from the "stress" of training from the ironman workouts as well as your body. My other problem during the offseason is food. I have really gotten accustomed to the high carb diet you are able to maintain while doing Ironman training. I literally feel that I have to starve myself now that I’m not training 3 hours a day so i dont gain a lot of weight. How much should I eat? When I’m in full blown training I eat a lot and I love it, maybe that’s the only reason I train! In order not to gain to much weight I have two choices, exercise more or eat less and better. It seems so much easier to exercise more, but that’s not what I need to do now. My body needs the offseason rest and more sleep, so the only conclusion is to eat less. That is so much easier said than done, but I will let you know how it goes.
So what does offseason mean to me? It means that i get to wake up and play with my kids more. Usually I’m already out the door when the wake up. It means that i get to exercise less, more relaxed fun exercises and unfortunately, i get to go on a diet! That’s the worst part.
Am i looking forward to the next big training block? Yes, but not yet. I need more of this R&R time! See you at the pool LOL!