LEARNING THAT THE OFF-SEASON ISN’T REALLY OFF

Learning That The Off Season Isn't Really Off
It’s getting cold, shorter days and an increase in rain which mentally equals time to pack away the gear for another winter and go into hibernation, pack on the weight and worry about next season when that first race weekend approaches. How wrong I was. I am quickly learning that the end of an athlete’s season signals the start of the next and is one of the most important periods in an athlete’s season and there is no “off” season.The advantage, like most people that have been engulfed by the endurance or triathlon bug, is that switching off is near impossible for me, there is always something burning in the back of my mind regarding training, performance or racing and after 16 months or so under the guidance of a coach and a daily routine of train, eat, work, eat, train, eat, sleep, repeat just clicking the on/off button is near impossible.Yes there is a call to reduce your overall level of activity but keeping active will allow me to maintain a substantial amount of the fitness I have worked so hard to accomplish in the past season and it will also allow me to easily work back up to that level once structured training commences again.I have mates who will train for and then race a key event for a season and once that is done and dusted, they go into shutdown mode, they don’t do anything until they identify their next race in the following season. I like to refer to this as the Yo-Yo approach – and while every time they seem to manage to crawl back to a good level of fitness and passable performance, every year and as they age it gets harder and harder for them and if you are late to the game in triathlon like me then it’s a matter of being patient and consistent over a longer period of time.There are six things I am aiming for this off-season:
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2. Being Better In Life – Work, Family & Friends:

Learning That The Off Season Isn't Really Off

I can honestly say that I am an awful person to be around in season, not in the sense of the way I act but more the fact I am just plain boring; always hungry, always tired, anti-social, selfish, self absorbed and way too serious, basically just a physical being trying to navigate from one session to the next, mentally just not there most of the time. I have lost count of the number times I have knocked back friends and family invites for a catch-up or even worse having made the effort (and yes it is an effort and I will let you know it is) to venture out and then fall asleep on a friends couch at 8 PM while the dinner party continues or sit at the table and just be in this mummy like state of not being able to speak and if I do its usually a grunting noise to signal I want more food.

Off-season is a chance to mend all of the broken relationships I have made, friends, family and even work. I am pretty sure eventually friends will stop inviting or calling me and then there will be nothing left but triathlon so I need to make the effort. Most of my friends have actually become accustomed to my lifestyle and support it, and thus I have introduced them to the intense sport of race supporting – something that I will explore in another entry.

In my day job we have no real off-season, there are down times but we are always on in the sense of it so I rely heavily on the flexibility to fit my training sessions in around my workload, luckily my colleagues and boss are the understanding type so me skipping out the door at 5PM sharp is not frowned upon (or at least they don’t let me know) but I try to make up for it during off season, taking an interest in what my colleagues do outside of work and generally catching up with life outside of the tri bubble.

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