My body thanks me for the extra sleep and added recovery.
by Enrico Contolini
My experience is that most
triathletes are very driven people. They train hard, but usually are
also hard working in their everyday lives. At least, I am that way. This is
why I welcome the off-season. I have worked hard all year to achieve some
great race results, which have boosted my ego and made me feel good. I
always take a month off my hard training regiment. This year it was the
month of October.
run, bike and swim during my off-season or down time, but I do it in a more
get up at 4:45AM to go the master swim team practice, but instead I sleep in
till 5:45AM when my daughters wake up. I don’t write down my workout plan
for the month. I simply go out and have fun. When I go swimming later in the
day I take some time to practice flip turns which I am still not good at. I
try different strokes too, even if I feel pathetic. A my master swim coach
once told me: “If
you only train in one stroke, you become unbalanced. Some muscles get
over-used, while others get under-used and your body is not designed for
that. You then become more susceptible to injury, and you may throw off your
posture, alignment, and other body mechanics." (That's what happened to
Quasimodo, if you'll recall…nothing but freestyle. Poor guy.)
If I feel
like running in the woods for 30 minutes instead of sweating a tough 12x400m
repeat workout on the track, I do that. I try to enjoy the surroundings
instead of concentrating on the pace.
pay more attention and dedicate more time to stretching and strength
exercises. Often during the year I end up sacrificing the 10 minutes I
should devote to stretching to squeeze in one extra repeat in the 45 minutes
time I have allotted for my workout.
I try to enjoy other sports that get neglected during the rest of the year.
For example, today I played tennis (sorta) with my wife and my three kids
running around the court.
summarize, I just try to have fun. My body thanks me for the extra sleep and
added recovery while my motivation grows to work harder in the months to
come. If I feel the urge to work harder I try to remind myself that I am not
training to win the Ironman Hawaii. I want to feel better about myself, and
learn to forget my daily worries. More balance will hopefully help me
become a better person and athlete. Besides, I’d rather rest an extra day
and go 30 seconds slower next year than getting an injury from over training
and having to skip half the season.
this year try to think about the off-season as a time to enjoy and recoup
before the next season arrives. There are enough voices that bombard us
every day telling us to go faster, do more, work harder….
Triathlete and ACE Certified