Steve Sexton, Pro triathlete and early Mad Cow.

(Plan for a "hands-on", wet (athletes in the water) swim clinic by Steve.)

Steve's Dos and Don'ts for the Off Season

Summary

  • Don't swim, bike or run for two weeks (at least).
  • Give yourself two weeks (after a two-week training break) of unstructured training.
  • Give into all the temptations your normally resist during the season: milk shakes, beers, sleeping in.
  • Focus on training elements that get pushed to the side during the heart of the season.
  • Don't worry about putting on a little extra weight.
  • After the training break, the off season is a great time to do low intensity workouts that focus on form and technique.
  • Take advantage of all the free time to do things you long put off.
  • A true vacation is another great way to physically and mentally refresh.
  • Don't underestimate the degree to which your body needs a break in order to absorb or adapt to all the training you put into it over the season.
  • Let your race schedule for the 2011 season dictate the duration of your off season.

Recover - DON'T: Swim, bike or run for two weeks (at least). Take some time completely off from training. Don't do anything that remotely resembles training. If you want to exercise, do things you don't normally do for training. You can go for walks, hikes, mountain bike rides, etc. But don't get on the road bike or run or swim laps in the pool. Your body needs a break after a long season of being pushed to its limits and so does your mind. If you feel like you have to motivate to do some exercise during this period, then don't do it. There are 350 days per year when you need to force yourself to train even when you don't want to. These 15 days are the times you don't have to. Save that mental fortitude for when it matters.

Relax - DO: Give yourself two weeks (after a two-week training break) of unstructured training. Resume training activities, but don't push the volume yet. Things should still be relaxed and shouldn't be forced. Leave the Polar, Sunto, Garmin, SRM, and PowerTap at home for these workouts. Just keep things aerobic-conversational pace-letting the oxygen pass through your blood. And if the weather is miserable, skip it. Train with friends, even if you aren't of real similar abilities. Make these workouts fun and easy to motivate for.

Enjoy - DO: Give into all the temptations your normally resist during the season: milk shakes, beers, sleeping in. In a sense, you want to get it all out of your system, so you will be less tempted during the season. But also, you want to give your mind a break from always fighting these urges. Two weeks to a month of desserts is ok. Brunch on Sunday morning instead of the long ride is ok. Late nights you don't remember in your agony the next morning are ok. This is your reward for months of hard work. Soak it up.

Develop good habits - DO: Focus on training elements that get pushed to the side during the heart of the season. These could include stretching and flexibility, core strength, etc. This is a good time to pay attention to the little things that can make a big difference. Try and get into good habits as you resume training but still have diminished training loads. Maintain these good habits when the training volume increases.

Indulge - DON'T: Worry about putting on a little extra weight. Its ok to pack on a few pounds and it can be healthy. When one is at ideal race weight, he is right on the edge of being unhealthy. Step back from the edge and indulge for a month or so. The weight will come off as soon as you start base training.

Form and technique - DON'T: Forget about your weakness. After the training break, the off season is a great time to do low intensity workouts that focus on form and technique. It is a good time to improve the weak link of your triathlon. You can focus your training on that discipline and reduce workouts in the other disciplines.

Get caught up - DO: Take advantage of all the free time to do things you long put off. From regular medical check-ups, to projects at work or around the house. Use the time to get caught up and even try to get ahead for the next race season. You will have more energy and time during the day without all of your training. Use it to get stuff done.

Vacation - DO: If you are one to take the bike on trips during the season and look for pools and running trails even when on vacation during the season, consider taking a trip and leaving all those worries behind. A true vacation is another great way to physically and mentally refresh.

Recharge - DON'T: Underestimate the degree to which your body needs a break in order to absorb or adapt to all the training you put into it over the season. This adaptation is so important and sometimes doesn't happen as well during the season if you have a busy race schedule and cannot allow ample recovery in season. By doing less in the off season, you can get better results when you resume training and racing in the new season. Less is more in the off season.

Schedule - DO: Let your race schedule for the 2011 season dictate the duration of your off season. If you aren't racing until March or later, you can take advantage of a longer training break and longer, slower return to structured training. But if you want to be sharp in February, you better be back on the horse by December.

Steve's Off Season Plan:

  • 2 weeks completely off from training.
  • Eating ice cream before bed and sleeping in.
  • Mountain biking, hiking, open water swimming and walking.
  • Beers on the weekend.
  • Completing applications for post-doc fellowships, updating web site, and planning 2011 race schedule
  • A trip to Maui with friends (and without the bike) during training break.
  • 2 weeks of unstructured workouts. 25% shorter swims than usual, long bike rides when the weather is nice, and trail runs. No electronics allowed. No pace clocks.
  • Working on swim technique and focusing on elements that sometimes get neglected during the heart of the season: stretching and core strength

What do you know about buy generic levitra? Also, think about buy vardenafil. Generally, both men and women suffer from sexual health problems. A common class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which switch on Zoloft, may cause problems in bed. To reduce the risk of unwanted side effects of Kamagra avoid using any other medicines without preliminary discussion with your pharmacist. Do not use such remedy without telling your pharmacist if you are pregnant.