General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Off season??? Rss Feed  
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2012-11-15 7:59 AM

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Subject: Off season???

I had a debate with a training partner about the "off" season. Her and I are at the same level and I told her I went hard biking for 1.5 yesterday. She insisted that I am pushing it to hard for the "off" season....But what if MY OFF season is mid summer?

I travel HEAVY in the mid summer months for work and sometimes I am only home for 1 day a month so I can't train on my own bike then or swim in my local pool all I can do is SQUEEZE a treadmill run here or there at a hotel gym while working 18 hour days. She has a 9-5 no weekend job and doesn't travel. I work 80 or 90 on weeks I don't travel at home on top off all of it! So my theory is train when I can. I am trying to prepare for a tough and early spring races and I live in Florida so its warm and races start early. 

So should I be "taking it easy" on my off season or should I be preparing for early spring races? Especially knowing I won't be doing much training late June to August.



2012-11-15 8:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
"Off season" does not mean "take it easy".  It simply means you can train without having to manage around your goal races.  Go hard and enjoy your "off season".
2012-11-15 8:35 AM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

I usually agree w/ JK and no different here.

Off-season is what people use as an excuse not to train.  Hit it hard.  Crush her next season.  Everyone I know who always says it's "off-season" are usually starting in a sh*t spot in April and then working hard just to get back to where they were.  They don't really ever get much faster either year to year after that first couple years of newbie improvements.  Most AGers honestly don't train nearly enough to need much time off after a season either IMO.  You just aren't doing any race specific builds.

2012-11-15 8:43 AM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
Previous posts are right on. I tend to get in better training during the off-season just because there are no races to plan around. Just don't burn yourself out, but for that if you can recognize when it's coming, just back down some for a bit.
2012-11-15 8:48 AM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

To steal a quote from somewhere:

"Triathlon is a winter sport that is contested in the summer."

 

 

2012-11-15 10:28 AM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

I have been thinking about this topic for the last 2 weeks. I just completed my first IM and was going to get fat for 2 weeks and do nothing. Well that didn't last long as I've run twice the week following the race. Like some of the other posters, I'm taking this "off" season as a couple months without a set goal but to keep most of my endurance. Basically chugging out some maintenance miles to keep the form. 

I also figured that since I just completed my IM, I'm in relatively good shape and I would rather keep most of it rather than to build from scratch again in the spring. If your "off" season is during the busy summer months, then treat it as that and this is the season to focus for you.

Cheers and be safe if you are training in the snow/ice. 



2012-11-15 10:35 AM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
Off season is the best time to improve and work on the little things! You cant do that sitting on the couch eating chips!
2012-11-15 12:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
Thanks the same training partner who is totally new to the sport said I should NOT do a HIM in May.... even though I have been training with people who just did the Full Ironman FL and kept up just fine and did Olympics fine and I have ran full marathons for YEARS so endurance is not new to me.... 
2012-11-15 12:30 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

Ken

I agree with what you are saying but your body needs time to heal from IM. Your body breaks down to the cellular level over an 8-10 hour or more event. This isn't just muscle soreness. It's much deeper than that and if you don't take the time to chill out, you'll be doing more than just starting from scratch. Motivation will be gone and fitness will be gone. Do yourself a favor and take some time off. The way I look at it is, you can do it when you want or you can wait until your body tells you and at that point, it's not as much fun.

My best seasons have been following an IM when I've taken a good break to let my body and mind recover from the season. Why do you think Rinnie Carfree just did IMFL - so she could take a big break from training / racing while still having her Kona slot sewn up for 2013.

2012-11-15 12:31 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

rungirl222 - 2012-11-15 1:23 PM Thanks the same training partner who is totally new to the sport said I should NOT do a HIM in May.... even though I have been training with people who just did the Full Ironman FL and kept up just fine and did Olympics fine and I have ran full marathons for YEARS so endurance is not new to me.... 

Sounds like it is time for a new training partner???

I was going to relax this "off-season" and ride when I felt like it, run bunches, ski and snowshoe when the weather allowed - then I registed for an Ultra Bike Race the last week of April so that shot that idea down the drain!

Next year I am going to work on a new 7K bike miles a year to couch program but not this winter!

2012-11-15 12:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

rungirl222 - 2012-11-15 1:23 PM Thanks the same training partner who is totally new to the sport said I should NOT do a HIM in May....  

Are we still talking about a race?

 

 

 

 



2012-11-15 12:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

Off season also does not necessarily mean Winter.  You might want to be off-cycle with the "typical" tri season, if your A races are late Winter and early Spring, with your unstructured ("off") season being the heat of summer (especially in FL, where you can train up over the Winter and chill to the AC in Summer!).

Your partner has an interesting perspective on things...

It's your sport, in the end, so do YOUR thing. Smile

2012-11-15 12:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

Off season is a time to stop and listen to your body.  For many of us, especially those who have been hitting it hard for years, we hear our bodies begging for a break.  So we scale back on either intensity, volume or both.

If your body isn't screaming for rest, do what feels good.  Off season is a time to do what you enjoy while still staying active, yet not being tied into a race training plan and specific workouts.  You can decide from day to day or moment to moment what you really feel like doing that day instead of having it predetermined for you.

......unless a plan with specific workouts are what you truly enjoy; in that case, refer back to paragraph one to decide whether or not that plan should be scaled back on intensity and load.

2012-11-15 1:06 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
mikericci - 2012-11-15 12:30 PM

Ken

I agree with what you are saying but your body needs time to heal from IM. Your body breaks down to the cellular level over an 8-10 hour or more event. This isn't just muscle soreness. It's much deeper than that and if you don't take the time to chill out, you'll be doing more than just starting from scratch. Motivation will be gone and fitness will be gone. Do yourself a favor and take some time off. The way I look at it is, you can do it when you want or you can wait until your body tells you and at that point, it's not as much fun.

My best seasons have been following an IM when I've taken a good break to let my body and mind recover from the season. Why do you think Rinnie Carfree just did IMFL - so she could take a big break from training / racing while still having her Kona slot sewn up for 2013.

Mike-How much time do you recommend taking off? I am not taking any significant time off after my IM(I took 4 days off right after) but I am not doing any sport over 1 hr and keeping it easy to moderate for the next 3 weeks.  I might swim and bike on one day but each will be 1hr or under. 

2012-11-15 1:11 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
MRDAVIDALEXANDER - 2012-11-15 12:06 PM
mikericci - 2012-11-15 12:30 PM

Ken

I agree with what you are saying but your body needs time to heal from IM. Your body breaks down to the cellular level over an 8-10 hour or more event. This isn't just muscle soreness. It's much deeper than that and if you don't take the time to chill out, you'll be doing more than just starting from scratch. Motivation will be gone and fitness will be gone. Do yourself a favor and take some time off. The way I look at it is, you can do it when you want or you can wait until your body tells you and at that point, it's not as much fun.

My best seasons have been following an IM when I've taken a good break to let my body and mind recover from the season. Why do you think Rinnie Carfree just did IMFL - so she could take a big break from training / racing while still having her Kona slot sewn up for 2013.

Mike-How much time do you recommend taking off? I am not taking any significant time off after my IM(I took 4 days off right after) but I am not doing any sport over 1 hr and keeping it easy to moderate for the next 3 weeks.  I might swim and bike on one day but each will be 1hr or under. 

Typically, I have an athlete not run for at least 2-4 weeks. You can and should still swim and bike. Work on drills. Go to Yoga, work on nutrition. Just stay off those run legs. It all depends on how hard you raced your IM as well. A person going 11 hours and running the entire marathon is going to be more beaten down than someone going 15 hours and walking the marathon. So, it's up to you, but if you put out a hard effort, my rec would be 2 weeks. There is nothing to gain by running right after a long distance race be it IM or marathon. If you enjoy it that's fine, but know that you are prolonging full recovery.

2012-11-15 1:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

Honestly, the vast majority of beginners and even intermediate triathletes don't train enough to really warrant and off season. These folks would have great gains by training consistently throughout the year, especially on their weaknesses, so they can hit even bigger training peaks and higher training volumes for the next inseason.

 

Pros/elites, and very serious athletes who put in a lot of hours do need a true offseason, but they also train at substantially higher volume and intensity than a beginner/intermediate athlete, and are usually pushing their bodies near the potential limit.

 

I don't think beginners and intermediate triathletes are served well by substantially cutting back their SBR training in the offseason unless they really need the mental break. Year-round consistency is huge.



2012-11-15 2:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

OFF SEASON- What this, for me aside from a couple of really slack weeks around christmas & new years ,my training volume actually increases by about 35 % over what It was during the Season, swim will stay about the same but my Bike volume tends to almost double with use of the trainer & spin classes and my run volume goes up about a 3rd over the hotter months, I much prefer to run longer and more often in the winter and in colder temps.

2012-11-15 2:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
yazmaster - 2012-11-15 2:25 PM

Honestly, the vast majority of beginners and even intermediate triathletes don't train enough to really warrant and off season. These folks would have great gains by training consistently throughout the year, especially on their weaknesses, so they can hit even bigger training peaks and higher training volumes for the next inseason.

 

Pros/elites, and very serious athletes who put in a lot of hours do need a true offseason, but they also train at substantially higher volume and intensity than a beginner/intermediate athlete, and are usually pushing their bodies near the potential limit.

 

I don't think beginners and intermediate triathletes are served well by substantially cutting back their SBR training in the offseason unless they really need the mental break. Year-round consistency is huge.

Anecdotally, I suspect their (pro's) off-season is significantly higher volume and intensity than the great majority of AG triathletes during the regular season.  Admittedly, they can handle more (and so amatuer's need to be mindful of listening to their bodies if they really start yelping), but I completely agree with the idea that off-season for most of us is more about having a bit less structure and building base (so perhaps a bit less intensity, but keeping the total load high).

Just my tuppence, 'course.  YMMV

EDIT: added the blue for clarity.



Edited by mcmanusclan5 2012-11-15 2:25 PM
2012-11-15 2:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

rungirl222 - 2012-11-15 12:23 PM Thanks the same training partner who is totally new to the sport said I should NOT do a HIM in May.... even though I have been training with people who just did the Full Ironman FL and kept up just fine and did Olympics fine and I have ran full marathons for YEARS so endurance is not new to me.... 

Curious as to why they said that?

2012-11-15 2:47 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
brigby1 - 2012-11-15 3:44 PM

rungirl222 - 2012-11-15 12:23 PM Thanks the same training partner who is totally new to the sport said I should NOT do a HIM in May.... even though I have been training with people who just did the Full Ironman FL and kept up just fine and did Olympics fine and I have ran full marathons for YEARS so endurance is not new to me.... 

Curious as to why they said that?

Probably read it on a triathlon discussion forum.

 

 

2012-11-15 2:58 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???
I race year round, in the winter I race on snowshoes or cross country ski. My only off season is the recovery time if I get injured. 


2012-11-15 3:13 PM
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Subject: RE: Off season???

charles-goff - 2012-11-15 1:58 PM I race year round, in the winter I race on snowshoes or cross country ski. My only off season is the recovery time if I get injured. 

Do you improve year to year?

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