OMG, tri season is a wrap here in the Midwest! Read on for ways to handle your new found free time......
FIND A NEW HOBBY- I know, I know, it is hard to give up that triathlon obsession even when it is not racing season. But in the Midwest it is also hard to feed the triathlon beast in the dead of winter. Every fall, in addition to the cooler days, I look forward to college football, my fantasy team and traveling. Three things that make me excited that triathlon season is over and the next chapter of my year is about to begin. Instead of training on the weekends, I get my short workouts out of the way in the morning before football starts and the spend the day cozy at my house with my family and big screen. I always have a few trips planned for the latter half of the year, outside summer when I need to be training, and in the fall so I can look forward to them.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK (SOMETIMES)- I have this rule from September- December: If life gets in the way or I REALLY don't feel like working out, I won't. Now mind you, I am addicted to working out so this usually doesn't happen more than a couple times per month, but I give in to the urge this fall season. Because it just feel so good to be lazy sometimes. The rest of the year I don't give myself that luxury, it is not even an option. I also have this game I play at home if I can't drag myself to the gym during workout time- I give myself the choice to clean one floor of my house or workout. I often do decide to clean and you know what? There is no guilt after. I made my home spic and span and actually moved my body a little doing it!
MIX THOSE WORKOUTS UP- Sometimes I just don't feel like running, biking or swimming. But in season you still have to. This time of year you don't. So I like to lift weights, take a class, do yoga, go for a long walk or just ride my bike to 5 different client's houses to get my workout in. Taking a mental and physical break from triathlon makes it more exciting to pick up that sport again later.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE, ABANDON WHAT YOU DON'T- For some reason I never get sick of running. I think it is the simplicity of tying your shoes and getting out the door. Swimming is fun once you get in, but after 25 years of swim training, diving into the pool can be torturous. And I am always happy to retire my bike for a while in the fall. So you know what? For the next couple months I will continue to run, sign up for a few local races, swim when I can coax myself into the water and forget about the bike. Because come January the Computrainer and I have a lot of dates, and my Computrainer does not like to be stood up.
SLEEP IN, EAT WHAT YOU WANT, BE LAZY- Ok, that is a bit of an exaggeration but I am firm believer that you cannot be on your A game, in your best shape, at your racing weight all year round. Part of what feels good each autumn is not setting that alarm, eating some junk when I go to a football tailgate on Saturday (and not worrying how it is going to effect my Sunday workout), and laying on the couch all day Sunday watching my fantasy points (after a short workout in the morning). These are luxuries I am willing to give up all spring/summer because after a while they lose their appeal. And training and racing and giving up junk food and working out several hours a day becomes that much more appealing. Don't make the mistake of putting on more than a few lbs, but don't lose any sleep over those few lbs that will inevitably creep back on, either. Enjoy and make the most of your down time and you will be that much more motivated to train when it counts.
Alright, people, watch some TV late into the night and sleep in in the morning- you deserve it!