The off season is different for everyone. Some people take a few weeks off, some people take a few months off. The length of time I take off depends on how much I've raced and when my first race of the following year is. I haven't raced as much as normal this year and I have some things I need to work on before I start ramping things up for 2016 so, I'm going to walk you through my off season plans for this year.
I have one race left on the calendar this year and that is the Scotiabank Half Marathon. Once that race is done, my off season officially starts. Normally after a half marathon I'll take a week off running and then gradually ease back into regular running the week after. This year, I plan on taking 3-4 weeks off running completely. I had a lot of knee problems and other issues that I've been working through all year so I want to give my body a break from the pounding.
What am I going to do in it's place you may wonder? This is what I've mapped out.
Week One Post Scotia:
Swimming, yoga, massage. There will be some running on the Saturday after Scotia as I am a Mizuno Run bird at the Toronto Women's 8km.
Week Two Post Scotia:
Swimming, yoga, strength training & a re-introduction to my basement pain cave & computrainer.
Week Three Post Scotia:
Same as above with a focus on cycling drills.
Week Four Post Scotia:
Same as above with the re-introduction of running. Short easy runs, focusing on form and drill work. That will probably be what the majority of my off season looks like. I'll start to build my volume up again in mid December but for a good two months, I'll be keeping things short, sweet and easy.
The off season is also a great time to reflect on your season and focus on things you would like to improve on for next season. I have a few things I need to work on.
1) Improve my flexibility and my strength and really get that mind body connection when it comes to certain muscle groups that haven't been working the way they should be. I've finally recruited my glutes for the most part but my hips still need a bit more stability. My core is a lot stronger but I need loosen up my t-spine to help with my rotation when I'm swimming and I need to learn to engage my lats more.
2) Find some more power on the bike. I was catching glimpses of it this year so I know it's possible. I think with a focus on some basic form and pedal stroke work, I can find that power. I also need to tweak my bike fit a bit so that should help.
3) Work on my running form. I did this at the start of the year and found it helpful. Everything went sideways when I started training for Eagleman and my form work took a back seat. This is the time of year to make that part of my routine.
4) Work on my mental game in the water. I need to get comfortable being uncomfortable in open water. A lot of it has to do with breathing and some of it has to do with the fact that I'm a bit of a headcase. I think the two things kind of go hand in hand in terms of trying to fix. I may actually enlist the help of a sports psychologist to start and go from there.
So that's what my 2015 Off Season looks like. Head on over to the link up and check out all the other Off Season posts. Next months topic will be cycling training. I'll be talking about specific workouts you can do indoors to work building strength so come back for that on November 3rd!
Tell me what your off season looks like!