My Off-Season

Some years I’m not quite ready for my triathlon season to be over. This was one of those years. I finished my ‘A’ race for 2013, Ironman Louisville, at the end of August. I had already begun to think about my 2014 race calendar and I knew that I was NOT going to be doing Ironman again, so I needed a big race to build my season around.
I had qualified for the USAT Age Group National Championship in 2012 and 2013, but for various reasons, I never actually made it to the race either year. So I decided that I would try to qualify again and actually race the Championships in 2014. The problem was…I hadn’t qualified yet. So I started to look for a race that I could do in September or early October that would work as a qualifier. I did the Tri For Sight a few weeks after Ironman and with the exception of an embarrassingly slow swim, I was happy with my race. I was 12th Overall out of 290 people, but I was 4th in my Age Group…and I needed to be Top 3 to qualify for Nationals. So I thought that maybe going to Nationals in 2014 was just not in the cards and I would look for another ‘big’ race to do instead. Then I started talking with a friend about races and he mentioned a race he did once before near Columbus, OH. So I looked it up and it seemed like a fun race and based on the previous year’s results, I thought that I might be able to finish high enough to qualify. After dragging the whole family up to the middle of Ohio, I felt some pressure to finish high and accomplish my goal of qualifying for the 2014 National Championship. Fortunately, I had a good race at the Deer Creek Fall Challenge and finished 2nd in my Age Group and 5th Overall – good enough to get an invite to the USAT National Championship!
So once I had that out of the way, my off-season official started. I took about a week off and literally did nothing. Then once I let my body recover a little bit, I stated into my off-season plan. My plan this year consists of a few goals:
1. Allow my muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and fascia to heal from the stress of a 9 month season.
2. Lift weights to increase strength and power
3. Work on muscular imbalances
4. Enjoy life and eat whatever I want (to a certain extent, of course!)
Goofy makes everything look fun and easy!
So while trying to keep number 1 in mind by getting more sleep and not pushing my SBR workouts, I’ve been working on numbers 2 and 3 in the gym over the last five weeks. 

My routine looks like this:
Squats* – 3 x 6 with heavy weight
Between sets –  60 count single leg jump-rope (30 on each leg)
Dead lifts* – 3 x 6 with heavy weight
Between sets – 20 count push-ups (vary between flat, raised legs, raised chest)
Clean and Jerk* – 3 x 6 with heavy weight
Between sets – 10 count body weight pull-ups
Hip Abductors – 3 x 10
Between sets – single leg box jumps
Cable trunk rotations – 3 x 10 on each side
Between sets – 60 to 90 second planks
*Do not attempt these lifts without consulting with a personal trainer to make sure your form is correct. You can seriously mess yourself up if you do these wrong!

I’m doing this whole-body approach to weight lifting/plyometrics routine twice a week. I’m only biking, running and swimming once a week and those are pretty easy efforts. I’ll stay with this until probably the end of January and then I’ll get back into a more triathlon-specific training plan. Hopefully I will notice some gains in my bike power and run speed once I get back into the swing of things…that’s the plan anyway!
As for number 4 on my list…I’ve managed to gain around 15 pounds since Ironman (and not much of it is muscle), so I’m definitely achieving this goal.
I also wanted to say congrats to Carrie Brown and Aaron Roberson, winners of my Garden of Life vitamin give-away!
Be sure and visit all of my sponsor’s websites. I sought out these companies because they provide great products and services.
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