By Coach Julie

Blog 3: Off-season part 2

November has come and gone. Time flew by, but before I go into more off-season tips here is a little recap of the past 4-6 weeks. Overall, I considered November to be successful as I was able to be consistent in lifting three times per week focusing on strength-endurance and made some positive changes to my eating habits. On the strength training side of things, I feel and continue to see progress which motivates me to stay on track and not miss any lifts. As far as nutrition goes, cleaning up the eating habits is still a work in progress but I am headed in the right direction. To recap, the off-season is a great time of the year to focus on setting healthy eating habits and to also incorporate some of the next few points I want to discuss.

Technique: Instead of just trying to maintain the volume that you have achieved during the year, it's a great time to scale back and focus on technique. It's really important to do this for each event instead of just going through the motions. Improving your technique could save you time and definitely make you more efficient.

In my case, swimming is going well and I am also having fun with it as I get to focus on technique such as pulls, kicks and my favorite playing golf rather than simply adding lengths to develop endurance usually done during tri season. There are so many drills out there you can find in books or online to help you become more efficient. For the swim, it might also be worth investing some time and money in getting a swim coach if this is one component you have trouble with or want to improve more.

Running was, and continues to be off the table as per my medical team until my foot settles down. The bike and I are also off to a bad start. I am having a hard time consistently riding on the spin bike as it's aggravating my foot and lower leg injuries as well. Frustration is setting in but I am hoping to resolve this once I get my actual bike on the trainer and continue with treatments.

Maintenance training: Variety and unstructured training is key. Tis' the season to try something new and get away from your in-season structured training. Do whatever you have put off for the summer. Your body will definitely appreciate the change and you could potentially be addressing your weaknesses at the same time. In my case, this means mountain biking, yoga, hiking, rock climbing, skating, snowshoeing and hitting the weights.

Seeing as I am still in the early stages of the off-season, I don't have the most strict schedule. That being said, if there is a day I am really not in the mood to train due to poor sleep/soreness or too much stress, then I can push it off to another day of the week. I am currently training 4-5 days a week and keeping weekends free as of now. I am definitely enjoying this free time with friends and family.

To wrap up, December is here, which means tons of distractions leading up to the holiday season. This includes travelling, treats, shopping and Christmas parties. However, as stressful as it can be, there?s an upside to all this craziness: my wish list! This year my Christmas list is obviously Ironman themed. This is a perfect time to ask for equipment/ items on your must have wish list for your triathlon race.

Happy Off-Season and Happy Holidays!

Coach Julie

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