The off season is a different animal. Some people use it as a chance to sure up their weaknesses before the next season. Some people use it as a time to focus on one sport; usually running. And others use it to totally unplug from the sport.

I like to be a little in each camp, but right now, I’m focusing in on the chance to disconnect. It has been fun watching Alex Howes of the Cannondale Cycling team document his off season out west hiking and exploring the wilderness.

For me, I’m using the extra time to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with triathlon: Hunting!

So why hunting? Like I said, it has nothing to do with Triathlon. Here’s what I like about it:

  1. Getting out in the woods and taking it slow

This is the biggest point for me. After spending all summer out on the road dodging crazy drivers or in a lake (or the ocean) with 50-100 or more other athletes for a swim start, getting into the woods by myself is a nice change of pace. It is nice to take it slow, be outside, and not be busting my lungs.

  1. It requires a totally different skill set

Hunting requires stealth, woodsmanship, marksmanship among other skills. Trekking through the woods is only similarity to running in the fact that you are on your feet. That’s about it. (Edit: depending on the terrain, swimming may come in handy… but hopefully not)

  1. Interacting with people with different interests

This is a natural human tendency. We like to be around people who are like us and share our interests. But sometimes it is good to get out and get to know other people in our community. Getting out on the trail is an easy way to talk to people who I would never meet otherwise. Yes, I know, triathlon can have this same effect. Just get down to your local sprint tri and you can meet people from all walks of life. But hunting can do that too.

So that’s my off season disconnect strategy. What’s yours? What do you do in the off season that is totally different from swimming, biking, and running? Let me know in the comments or on twitter!