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Work Hard, Rest Hard: Off Season

Posted Nov 07 2013 9:44pm
The off season tends to be a tough time for some people.  It throws people for a loop because we are all so type-A and used to having a schedule.  Some may ask "if there isn't training, well, what else is there to do?!".  Um.. Hello!  There are plenty of things to do!  Sure, it takes us getting out of our routine and trying some new things.  It also means reconnecting with the people we love and doing a little extra for them just to say "Hey, I love you, thanks for supporting me all year even when I was a crazy lunatic triathlete in Ironman training".  It's the mental break that most of us really need.

It may seem like the professionals are on a different level, but darn it, we're just the same as everyone else!  At the end of the season, I was dreading dragging my stuff to the pool and continuing "the grind" like everyone else!  You wouldn't be human if you didn't crave a little variety, a little time to kick back and not worry about 8+ hours of sleep or just not worrying about having your workout bag packed for the next day.

This year I trained right around fifteen hundred hours from December 2012 to October 2013.  No small amount for me personally!  My light/recovery weeks were around 12-15 hours and my biggest were around 28-29 hours.  It felt like a job at times because, frankly, at times that's what it felt like!  It was just a job I loved in the good times and the tough times!  I have another post coming on what I think it actually took to get to this next level this year and hopefully, it will help you fellow athletes out there do the same in 2014!  Hold that thought :)

SO, what have I been up to in the off season!  In no particular order - here it is! 

Directly after Kona (and I mean directly, like arrived home on Thurs night and left on Friday morning), I headed to the Food and Nutrition Conference in Houston, TX.  I had some specific meetings and things to do while I was there.  One of those meetings was with this guy! This is a breed of cattle called " Brahman ".  One of the neat things I did was take a ranch tour to find out how real ranchers handle these guys and what their handling practices are to ensure our food supply stays safe and healthy.  It was really a very enlightening eye-opening experience that I enjoyed immensely!  It's important for all of us to try to understand how our food gets to the table and what processes are employed by farmers to handle things correctly.

Dressing up with your husband for Halloween and singing a LOT of karaoke, is not only a good way to have fun, but it may just convince you that miracles can happen (like you fitting into a costume you made in college that you actually GLUED together vs. sewing because of course you didn't know HOW to so - ok, still don't).  Getting the outfit off, not nearly as fun or enjoyable.  I think I might have to retire that one!

I did partake (and it was a-ma-zing, no I did not eat the whole thing in one sitting, but I did eat the whole thing).  I was instructed to gain seven pounds after the season was over.  Check, check and CHECK!  Now the jeans are tight and it is time to get back at it in about a week!

Check out cute triathletes to be sporting only the BEST gear!  This cutie is already a Fuel Your Passion fan (let's face it, who isn't!).  Love the picture!  Baby/Future Superstar: Ben, Proud Father: Jeff

Run in Central Park among the beautiful leaves and other fitness enthusiasts!  I'm only doing short 30 min workouts (2 per sport per week - yep, that's only 3 hours total) so by the time I made it to central park from my hotel it was almost time to turn around.  Bummer!  I do what I'm told, even in the off season!

Go to some social events and let your hair down!  That's just what I did this past weekend at Kyle's brother's wedding!  We had a blast and got to see two of our favorite people get married!  A huge congratulations to Jeremy and Jen!!  These are my SISTERS!  Not sister-in-laws, but real sisters!  Love ya Jen, Lis & Brit! 

Cook your____ off!   I've been playing Martha Stewart in my spare time.  I've made everything from brie/apple/chicken quesadillas to this butternut squash lasagna !   I'm not sure what has gotten into me!  It must be just a combo of having more time and really wanting to incorporate some new fall foods and recipes.

As you can see, if you're in the time of year where you're taking a step back, re-evaluating where you've been and just about to take the next step into a new season of training, it's a great idea to step back, have a little fun and not be afraid to branch out and do some things that don't usually fit in your schedule.  I've loved this time and even though I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to be back to my regular training schedule, I believe every athlete needs a break from training both physically and mentally to start next year with a renewed sense of motivation!!  I ask all of my athletes to take this time and take it seriously!  We work really hard, recovery / rest hard as well! The amount of time you need will depend on how many hours you put in.  Someone like me needs around five weeks total due to my long season and high hours.  You may need just a few weeks and your body and mind will be ready to go! 

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