While the thought of relaxing in this for a few months--on a tropical beach no less!--sounds ideal, I know that while it may be the triathlon off season--or will be after today's Ironman Florida and next week's 70.3 series championships, there is no off season in running.
All the fast, smart triathletes here use their tri off season to ramp up their running, which I think puts them ahead of the competition when the next season rolls around. Its continuous, its perpetual it seems, that they just keep training, in one form or another, all year round.
When I was into competitive running, I was SO glad for the racing season to be over because, truthfully, I was tired out and burned out. A couple of months off from serious training then became welcomed and expected. It gave me a chance to get caught up on all the household things neglected since early spring, and some of the family things I put off because I had been too tired otherwise.
But since I don't feel like I have really worked that hard this year--I know, I've done a lot, but not at the same level!--I plan to use the "off season" to build on my running. I may not have slacked off, like it seems in a way, but when you go as slow as I do, you don't feel the burnout. Maybe that's good in a way.
That being said, my off season plans will be geared mainly looking for and training for races I want to do next year, whether here or somewhere more sensibly warm. I've said it before, and I can't emphasize enough, how important it is for me to get this running thing in better shape. Running was where it all started for me. Running can be done almost anywhere at any time of the year. Not too much special equipment needed. And I know that building on my running strength again will make next year's triathlon season more successful, and less frustrating (that and some skinnier tires, but that's another story!).
Here's a tentative list of what I'm thinking of:
- November: haven't decided yet; probably just work on my running;
- December: some local Running Club races, to see if I've progressed since last year;
- January: an indoor tri. Again, I want to see how much improvement I will have from last year; also considering the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon on Jan. 5.
- February: another indoor tri; also considering the AIA Half Marathon in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Feb. 17; then maybe a cruise if it can all be worked out;
- March: hmm, maybe this little thingy with Kona Shelley??
- April: Saturday Classic, Steve's 10 miler. Its a good tuneup for the 25k in May;
- May: Fifth Third River Bank Run 25k ; Bayshore Half Marathon;
- June: Race for Recovery Half IM; Johan's Triathlon;
- July: Block 58 Triathlon (again to see if I can improve from last year);
- August: Steelhead Half Ironman.
- September: Still open but 2 races I'm definitely not doing (Reeds Lake and Holly);
- October: Grand Rapids Half Marathon. I like the idea of a local race, which has been labeled now as one of THE BEST races around (read the reviews and decide for yourself) and again I am hoping to see some improvement over this year.
And that brings me right back to the "off season" again. With that kind of schedule, I think I will surely be ready for an off season next year!