My off season – More or Less

After completing my first 140.6 ironman adventure I am approaching my first long distance Off Season. In the last 12 months I put my body, mind, family & friends through 10 months of intense consistent training that consumed my life. Don’t get me wrong I embraced the training and loved the whole process and experience right up to and throughout race day.

Then I’ve had nearly 3 months down time, this has been due to two cracked ribs sustained in the chaos of IMUK swim, which I later found out included muscle damage from the force of the kick. Then at 47 years old my wisdom teeth decided to play up. I’ve not had any break the gums or been taken out, but the back right decided to have a wriggle around my mouth and in doing so cracked my back tooth, this required an extraction which left a root in place. Next step a visit to the dental hospital to have remaining root removed and decide whether the wisdom tooth needs to be dealt with in anyway too. Looking forward to that appointment – NOT !

Wind-blowing-leaves

Anyway enough of my injuries and its time to look ahead to the Off Season – Autumn/Winter ahead. As hurricane Gonzalo is blasting its way across the UK the changing coloured leaves are getting ripped off the trees, branches strewn across the road, fence panels buckling and gusts strong enough to blow you into the next county, its best not to be out on a bike today however inviting the blue skies and mild temperatures are. But the winds will die down and the glorious autumn colours and season will flow into winter. Gonzalo’s gales will blow itself out.

So the MORE or LESS approach to my Off Season are:

MORE:

  • Trail running – getting muddy on those hills with my dog and friends plus some local grassroots races
  • Turbo time – a bit more enjoyable when partaking as a group session
  • Short intense workouts – for both running and cycling, blame the dark nights
  • Classes – circuit training & spinning, balance of keeping strength and fitness
  • Shooting – pheasant season starts this weekend, fresh free range pheasants, partridge & wild duck to enjoy
  • Snowboarding – off to enjoy the Canadian powder in the New Year
  • Weight gain – at least it can be hidden under layers of thermals ! Will make me stronger as training is harder when you carry excess weight. So when I shed the weight in the spring I’ll fly. The body needs some buffer to help recover too 🙂
Dog & trail shoes at the ready
Dog & trail shoes at the ready for winter

LESS:

  • Open water swimming – in fact none, my wetsuit is now in hibernation.
  • Sunshine and shorts – no more random tan lines for a while
  • Long runs & rides – the 4 to 6 hours rides and 3 hour runs are out, my body is recovering, too long and it’d breakdown or burn out, need to consider my age after all
  • Weekends away – no need to travel to events, all local, so I can spend time at home
  • Less laundry – the mountain may be reduced but I expect there to be a lot more mud
  • Early morning training sessions – too dark out there. Not too good in the mornings anyway !

Over the coming months I will be keeping a base fitness through trail running, cycling, turbo, spinning, circuit training and when I can get back in the pool swimming. Some events are purely social and for fun such as the Santa Scamper, Pudding race and fancy dress Parkruns. The seasons are changing but there is still so much to look forward to.

I’ve started the shooting season with a bang at yesterdays local Ladies clay shooting competition, I went along as not picked my gun up for 6 months due to ironman training and came away with Top Gun. Boom not too rusty at all.

Top Gun, starting the season off well
Top Gun, starting the season off well

Coach Neil is trying to keep me on a consistent training plan so I don’t become complete bear and hibernate all winter. My planned 2015 Races look like a lifetime away but no doubt the first will creep up on me far too quickly.

But Hey did I tell you I AM AN IRONMAN ! Anything is possible 😉

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