So the season is mostly over or close to over (unless you are one of the crazies doing IM FLA , Arizona, Texas 70.3 or Kona). So what do we do now, more of the same? Get fat and take up making all the recipes on IRONCHEF?
I call this time of year, your hiatus period. A time to sit back a bit and do a bunch of things – here is a list of the “bunch of things” I would suggest you make part of your program – and resting, recovering and retooling are truly an important part of your PROGRAM.
Book some time away for the grid of SBR. Dust off your in-line skates, your squash or tennis racquet, dig a new garden, try out hot yoga, cool yoga Hatha yoga or ashtanga yoga, learn to ballroom dance, mountain bike, cycle cross, BMX. Keep active but only wave to your tri gear as you run out the door. The idea here is to stay relatively fit while giving your body and head a rest. This should last anywhere from 3-6 weeks depending on your next year’s goals.
Nail your goal before they nail you. Just before your seasonal “A” race sit down and prepare a loose plan for next year – will you do the Grimsby or Chilli ½ marathon, Around the Bay, Pairs to Ancaster Bike ride, Tucson Camp? Define your “A” “B” and “C” races for next year. This allows you to plan your season and allows you to rest guilt free over this important hiatus period. Just don’t get caught up in the buzz and start to focus to soon. Burn out and over training are the demons you are avoiding.
Don’t stress your lack of stress – as a tri geek we are typically drivers, so when we aren’t pushing we feel we are falling behind. If you stress your lack of focus you are robbing yourself of your recovery. Workouts are stress, family is stress (although we love them), work is stress so do we really want our rest to be stress? Here is my analogy for detraining. When you pull a new balloon out of a package it is hard to inflate. When you let the air out it is much easier to re-inflate. Your muscles work the same way – it may have taken you a full year of training to get this level of fitness. When you take time off and start your training again you will respond easily and quickly back to your pre break fitness level. So don’t stress your down time.
Get your fun factor back, Triathlons are our recreation. Taking time off to do other fun active stuff is why we try to stay fit. Try to build a versatile fitness. Have you ever been stiff after bowling….if yes then you do not have a versatile fitness level. Start today and bring some physical fun into your workouts – that is what this hiatus period is all about.
So in summary the hiatus period should start 1-2 weeks after your “A” event of the year. It should last 3-6 weeks. It would be reasonably active but not over taxing. It should challenge you to do things other then swim bike and run. Make it fun. Ease off on the stress factor even if you are slightly detraining, let yourself enjoy the down time. Make your plans for next year, fitness goals, events goals and maybe even time goals.
Recovery comes in a few forms,
micro recovery – that 1 day off from workouts each week
macro recovery – that week of lower volumes every 4-5 weeks and
mega recovery – the hiatus period we just noted above.
Remember are bodies do not get fit from working out, we get fit from working out and recovering from that workout and repeating this process.
Please contact me if I can be of any assistance.