Do you run a marathon every three to six months for fun, or take part in shorter races (running, swimming biking) all year long? If so, it might be time to take a four- to eight-week break from endurance activities and have an “postseason” like the pros do.
And by break and don’t mean no running/swimming/biking at all — I mean cutting back on your endurance workouts to 1-2 days a week, taking a FULL week break from all exercise (aside from low-impact movement like walking, yoga and hiking), then focusing on resistance training for the remaining three to seven weeks.
What’s a postseason?
A postseason (otherwise known as active rest) is a phase during the yearly training cycle for athletes that happens after competition (the in-season phase). A postseason can be anywhere from four to eight weeks long, depending on an athletes training cycle. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, “the main focus [during postseason] should be on recovering from the previous competitive season. Low training duration and intensity are typical for this active rest phase, but enough overall exercise or activity should be performed to maintain a sufficient level of cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and lean body mass. During the postseason, the aerobic endurance athlete should focus on rehabilitating injuries incurred during the competitive season and improving the strength of weak or underconditioned muscle groups.” (more…)
Well… I didn’t really meet the 2012 goals I set out in last year’s non-New Year’s resolution post, partly due to work/life factors, and partly because I didn’t follow my own advice of setting small, weekly goals for yourself as you work towards your larger goals.
I didn’t end up competing in any triathlons in 2012 because I was crazy busy organizing the majority of the triathlons I probably would have participated in. I did get back in the pool for a little bit, but was sick of everything triathlon by the end of summer and lost my passion for it slightly. I didn’t do a marathon in 2012 so I didn’t get my sub 4-hour PB, but I did manage a super fast half marathon time, beating my previous best by five minutes. With all things considered, I still had a great 2012 fitness-wise. And I know 2013 is going to be even better. (more…)
Me in Maui after finishing the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon. Has nothing really to do with this post. I just thought it’d be more interesting than a stock photo of ‘Happy New Year’ text with squiggles and sparkles.
I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I’m always thinking about, planning and refining my goals — personal, fitness and otherwise — throughout the year. But January 1st is a good time to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year and how they changed you, as well as look forward to and plan what you want to achieve in the year to come.
And by planning what you want to achieve, I don’t mean the lose-30-pounds-and-make-time-to-read-more-books type of plan (otherwise known as the ‘New Year’s Resolution’) — I mean actually writing down your goals, and considering what it is you actually need to do to reach them.
For me, I knew 2011 was going to be the year I completed my first triathlon. Not only did I have no idea what I was doing or where to even start, but also I didn’t even know how to swim. With my target goal in sight (meaning I signed up for the triathlon before I even had a bike or knew how to swim), I wrote down all of the steps I needed to take in order to get there — the first being to get a good triathlon coach, which helped take all the guesswork out of the rest of the steps! (more…)
I haven’t heard anything yet about what will happen… whether the organizers will move the swim portion to a different beach at Elk Lake, or? If anybody knows, please comment!
At least there are a few other triathlons I can do before the season ends. I think I’ll sign up for the sprint distance at the Subaru Sooke International Triathlon on August 7th, regardless. After all this training, I feel like I should do at least two this summer before marathon training starts! (more…)
My tri group had our first race simulation of the season this morning out at Thetis Lake, where we got to practice our swim-to-bike and bike-to-run transitions, as well as doing all three sports back-to-back.
The day before, however, I decided to see what my legs felt like on the run after a 35 km ride (the Olympic triathlon bike distance is 40 km).
I had a great ride out to Sooke, despite getting a bee in my helmet. (more…)
I am finally in possession of the last expensive piece of triathlon gear I need: the wetsuit.
(Huge thanks to Dave at Pen Run in downtown Victoria for hooking me up with a sweet deal on a brand new wetsuit, just in time for my first open water swimming session!)
Since most of my tri training group were racing today at the Subaru Victoria Triathlon (congrats to Adam and Leif by the way — first and second place overall! Amazing!) and I couldn’t get a ride out to Elk Lake to watch, I walked down to Langford Lake to test out the new wetsuit and go for a swim.
I struggled to get into the suit for about half an hour. You have to be careful not to puncture the rubber with your nails; even with gloves on AND cut nails I think I still managed to put holes in it. I managed to get it a bit further on than I did with the help of Dave in the store, so I’m hoping next time I’ll be able to have it fitting properly. Getting your legs in is definitely the trickiest part — after it’s pulled up to a certain point you just pull your arms in, put your shoulder blades together and have someone zip you up, then you can kind of wiggle yourself in more by putting your arms over your head and bending at the hips, and doing high steps and squats.
Once I got in the water it was awesome. I was nice and warm, and the wetsuit makes you super buoyant. The hardest part for me once I started swimming was trying to blow bubbles in cold water (the cold temperature makes it harder to breathe at first) and being freaked out by seeing a dark, murky abyss instead of the bottom of a pool. I had to stop and pop my head up often to make sure I wasn’t swimming off into the weeds and that I could still see the shore. I think next time when I’m with a group and not alone in the water I’ll feel more comfortable.
But yay! My first open water swim! All that’s left of unchartered tri territory now is the transition.
A mass participation cycling event in Victoria lead by Tour de France 7th place finisher and local cycling phenom Ryder Hesjedal AND “Captain Canuck” Trevor Linden?
Sure, sign me up!
Why not fit that in amongst all of the half marathons and triathlon training I’ve been doing lately. Might as well do it, since I just bought a proper road bike and my work happened to be a founding sponsor. It’s hard to say no when you’re working at the event’s headquarters.
I have to admit, though, I was incredibly nervous about riding it. I signed up for the 90 km route, and only managed to do only one 75 km ride a week before the event. That felt surprisingly okay (no aches, pains or exhaustion), so I knew I could tackle the distance—it was just the pack riding and the weather I was worried about. (more…)