If you are a goal-oriented type “A” personality like me, you probably have a hard time slowing down. Taking a break these past couple weeks hasn’t been exactly easy, but I know a few months of reduced training and giving my body the rest it deserves is the best thing I can do right now. I achieved many of the goals I set out to accomplish in my comeback season, from completing my first marathon to scoring my first triathlon age group win and qualifying for the USAT National Age Group Championships, but it didn’t come easy. I put my body through the wringer. Even for the most seasoned athletes a break or shift in training is necessary. The off-season is also a great time to learn a new skill or pick up an old one, spend time with family and friends (and thank them for all their support, babysitting, and cooking when you were too tired), and understand that it is natural to go through a period of post-race apathy.
Being on a break from heavy endurance training doesn’t mean I am stopping my training completely. I’ve just shifted my focus away from a regimented schedule to “whatever I feel like” on any given day. Last Sunday I took a yoga class at my favorite studio, Power of You OM and it was OMazing! I’m a certified RYT 200 yoga instructor though this studio, yet my yoga practice has taken a serious backseat this year. I plan to add more yoga back in my life during the off-season and into 2017. It seriously has so many wonderful benefits for athletes! I miss teaching too, but my “me time” is more limited now that I’m a mama, so that’s taken a backseat too.
Another focus for the off-season is strength training. I’ve been doing Katie Hart Morse’s daily 10 minute strength workout the past week and it’s been so easy to incorporate in my routine. Strength training is that thing I know is important, but can never manage to stay consistent at. There really is no excuse though. Finding 10 minutes really isn’t hard to do. I have even squeezed a few of these workouts in while watching the boys at the playground. You just have to get creative. J
The off-season is a good time to experiment with new products and nutrition. If I’m being totally honest, my nutrition this season wasn’t great. My calorie counting days are long gone, but I definitely could be making healthier choices and refueling properly after every workout. That should come easier now that I’m stocked up on Designer Protein (Get 20% off Designer Protein with my referral link here). I have a goal to lose 5-10 pounds before Ironman Oceanside 70.3 training revs up in January. With the holidays coming up it will be hard to lay off the treats (I have a serious sweet tooth!). The extra temptation along with a reduced training volume will make it all the more challenging to meet my goal. Here are some tips and strategies I plan to follow:
(1) Stay Hydrated – Being hydrated curbs sugar cravings and can prevent overeating. If you notice a craving for junk food use that feeling as a trigger to first drink a full glass of water.
(2) Stop Eating When you are Full (or right before you feel full). Makes sense right? Why do we insist on putting ourselves in a food coma on Thanksgiving?
(3) Create Healthy Versions of Your Holiday Favorites – most holiday favorites can be reinvented into a healthy version. My friend Jen just posted a recipe on Instagram for “Peanut Butter Be Special” dipped apples that I plan to try out this weekend: Organic apples dipped in a mixture of melted peanut butter (or almond butter), coconut oil, maple syrup, & vanilla, then sprinkled in sea salt. Yum!
(4) 80/20 Rule – This is a rule that inspires eating 80% nourishing, healthy food, and allowing 20% of food intake to be indulgent or less optimal. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while. For my family that’s Friday night 🙂
(5) Say no to food pushers. This is a big one for me. My mother-in-law lives next door and is constantly stopping by with yummy treats. I don’t want to hurt her feelings so I always graciously accept. I need to learn its OK to say “No, thank you.”
Hopefully sticking to these strategies will help me stay on track this off-season. Speaking of indulging, SUPER excited about my new Cervelo tri bike, Rochelle! The cards lined up and I scored an awesome deal. Can’t wait for all the great things we’ll do together in 2017, but until then it’s all about enjoying this time off and the holidays with my family.
What are your off-season plans? How do you stay healthy during the holidays?