After racing at Ironman World Champs in Kona on 12th October I had 3 weeks of rest to allow my body to recover and recharge before off season training began. I didn’t even have an urge to do any training, which isn’t normal for me!, so I clearly needed time off.
Off season is a time to have less pressure and try new things but also a time to make great strength gains and an important base. I like to work on my weaknesses and try to gain some muscles in the gym. I enjoy mountain biking but I keep away from technical single track when I have Ironman races coming up. So off season is my chance to get courageous, or perhaps stupid, and have some fun on the trails, whilst trying not to break anything!
During off season eating is less strict; I always eat good healthy food but I won’t turn down the odd bag of chuckles or piece of cake or be monitoring my weight weekly to see how far off race weight I am. It’s not good for your body to stay at a very low body fat percentage all year round. It’s not a time to completely let go though; you can for a week if you want to, if you need to get over all your cravings. But remember you can gain 10kg in a few weeks, but it’ll take a few months to shed it.
I also use off season to assess all my equipment; if anything isn’t working for me, if anything needs changed or upgraded, try a few new gadgets or test different nutrition.
Race planning is always fun. There are a few races I seem to do year in year out but this year I’m having a bit of a change. I can’t afford to go back to Kona this year so have decided not do to IMSA and rather do some new races, some which usually clash with IMSA.