Thursday, October 31, 2013

Now what?

Crossing the finish line in Austin on Sunday marked the end of a very long triathlon season both in terms of time and number of races. If you go back to the Colorado Marathon on May 5, the whole thing worked out to something just short of six months and covered 9 events. There’s no question that I bit off more than I could chew and that it also kept me very busy from a training standpoint.

Now, rather abruptly, that has ended. For the first time in nearly a year, I am not registered to compete in a triathlon, marathon or even half marathon. It is truly the out season. I’m not exactly disappointed by that, but I can also feel the vacuum that was created as a result.

Of course, in time, I will register for 2014 races and in time I will also begin a formal off-season training regimen designed to get me ready for what I expect to be more intense training next year.

However, for the balance of the calendar year, for the sake of both my body and my mind, I’m going to take a less formal approach. Rather than a schedule, I’m going to just establish some general goals.

1.      Watch the weight! It’s a lot easier to keep the weight off when you’re training for six to eight hours a week. Since that total will not continue now, I’ll have to be a bit more conscious of what I’m eating. That will be more challenging as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. It’s truly a season that makes you want to eat and stay in!
2.      Experiment with the diet. I’m not about to do anything radical like try a ketogenic or paleo diet. I have serious doubts both about the sustainability and overall health risks of either. However, a reduction in my carb intake coupled with an increase in my protein intake may create the desirable result of being able to better metabolize fat. Given the bonking I experienced at Austin, being able to more readily tap into the vast fat reserves that all people have would be a substantial benefit.
3.      Experiment with Maffetone training. I keep hearing a lot of good stories and I’m game to try and do more to train my body to burn more fat and rely less on carbs in the form of glycogen. The nice thing about not having to be ready for a race any time soon is that I can play around with new training methods without compromising race performance. Of course I’ll need to test my max heart rate, but that’s probably a good thing.
4.      Learn more about the use of power. After much navel gazing and delaying, I finally broke down and ordered an electronic trainer, specifically a Wahoo KICKR. I did get a good deal and free shipping. Thanks! Seriously, if you are in the market for a higher end item, the 10% discount he offers to Clever Training can save you some serious coin. In any case, since the trainer includes an integrated power meter, I’ll have a chance this winter to start tracking that. In fact, I have to think that if I had power data available in Austin; I might have been able to better manage that ride. Joe Friel published a book about a year ago and I’ll probably start with that.
5.      Figure out the coaching. A few weeks back, I posted about finding a coach. That desire has not changed, but in the next couple of months, I need to do my research and find one that will be right for me. I was pleased to have hit a PR in Austin but not satisfied. I believe I have a sub six hour half ironman in me.

The off season will give me lots of good material to post here as I try new things and gain new insights as

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