|Posted by Eric Kirouac on November 20, 2016 at 3:10 PM|
What is the “off season”? Do triathletes really have an off season? Yes and no depending on the athlete. My 2016 triathlon season started on March 5th with the first race of the year being Clermont draft legal challenge. My triathlon season just finished on October 15th at Liberty University triathlon conference championships. I had some highs and lows throughout the season but for the most part the majority of my results were satisfying.
I am writing this exactly one week after the “end” of the 2016 triathlon season. I am in the “off” season which sends the message that I am not doing anything. This is somewhat true for 2 weeks following my last race but after that it is back to the drawing board to work on my weaknesses that I have identified in myself.
“Off” season is a time where training stress decreases for most triathletes and the focus is on “base training” and strength as well as functional movement to better prepare for the next season. As a collegiate athlete I take full advantage of time off and try to get ahead on work so when training ramps up again I will have more time to focus on recovery instead of homework. The majority of my teammate however do not follow my example and they tend to slack off during the off time and then are swamped when everything starts back up.
“Off” season is interesting. The first two weeks, which are supposed to be completely off of training are very hard to navigate. Those two weeks of rest are unchartered waters for a triathlete who has been training 20 hours a week for the past year. It is hard to sit still especially in a college environment. Once my homework is done I have nothing else on my agenda and I am not sure what to do with my time. What I notice is the first 2-3 days of rest are awesome, lots of work and lots of netflix. But after the honeymoon phase that lasts 2-3 days I already want to train again. This makes no sense to me because on any given week during the year of training I am exhausted and would kill for time off, but as soon as I get time off all I want to do is train. It is an interesting phenomenon.
I am ashamed to say that I actually raced one week out after my last triathlon. I didn’t really train for one week, I spun on my Cyclocross bike a few times but thats it. I wanted to race a CX race for the first time and the race was only 30minutes away. So I got my roommate to race with me and we killed it. I ended up winning the race?! I was shocked and the taste of victory instantly got me hooked and I am already planning on racing next weekend both days! What is “Off” Season?