Friday, November 15, 2013

The Benefit of Off Season Cross Training

In my last blog post "The Benefit of Off Season Activity," I talked about using the off season to indulge in some sweets, but also stay active and engage in some fun activities you probably won't be able to during a season that is almost completely swim, bike, run.

Let's look at the calendar. Pretend we're back to training, somewhere around early January. You've taken some time off following a hard season, rested up and indulged in that piece of pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner and a candy cane or two around Christmas.

Yet something doesn't feel right. It's only January after all and you're not racing an Ironman in March, no siree. In fact, you're 'A' race isn't even until July, and that's a long ways away. Why start a buildup now, when you're going to burn out around May and lose valuable deposits in the fitness bank?

The best solution I've come up with is to start your training, but not in the traditional sense. Starting in late January or early February I'll go back through my season and analyze my races. I've kept all my splits and any photos that I can find. I'll use them to try and analyze where my weaknesses lie. From there it becomes a matter of addressing them. Instead of putting in base miles or sitting on the trainer, I'll hit the gym and try to strengthen structural weaknesses which may come back to haunt me in the latter parts of longer races.
In this we find a true benefit of the off season. Without compromising any significant part of training or the buildup to the "A" races, we can address structural weakness while inhibiting the onset of burn out. 

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