The 2016 season definitely ended on a better note than 2015. I love racing, so getting in a few good races to cap off the season is great. Even if they are more for the fun of it than for competition. But isn’t that why we do this anyway? Fun is what it’s all about. And like I learned playing High School baseball, winning is more fun that losing! Finishing with two podiums qualifies 🙂
But now it’s the off season. I’ve been relaxing and raiding the ice cream freezer at the office. It’s great! But the off season is more than just loosening the belt a little. It’s time to refocus. Here’s what I’m focusing on this off season.
At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun. I’m not a professional and I don’t make my living off the sport (or any money actually) so I make this a top priority in the summer. Some people advise taking it easy in the off season, but sometimes climbing that hill and trying to grab a few Strava segments is just too fun to pass up. Of course, like I said, winning is more fun that losing, so I still have two other focuses on the list.
The off season is when I (and many others) add back in some strength training. This is mostly to help prevent injury later in the season, but I also am thinking about the demands of my main target this season; Zofingen. The ITU Long Course Duathlon World Championship (AKA: Powerman Zofingen) is known as a beast of a course. Being in Switzerland, almost no part of the course is flat. The 3 lap bike course climbs over 1000ft each lap. The biggest climb is the Bodenberg with almost 750ft of climbing at an average 6% grade. Strength will be a big factor in working on my climbing this coming season.
Not that I’ve been inconsistent, but I know I need to get a good base, especially in running, before I start laying on the miles of prep for Zofingen. Zofingen will be the longest race I’ve ever done. With 40km of running (over 24mi), an athlete needs to be able to hold up under that much pounding. I’m honestly not too worried about the bike course. It’s the run that I’m nervous about. My plan is to get back to running sooner than usual and to really make it a point to run almost every day, even if it is just 30 minutes. This past season my rest day workouts had all been easy spins on the bike. This season I’m making them easy runs. The focus will be on weekly mileage with saving long runs for weekends and later in the season.
So there you have it. I’m keeping things simple. What are you focusing on this off season? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!