Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Is There An Off Season?? Not This Year!

I am linking a post that I wrote for ICEdot Athletes on training during the off season! Enjoy!

Is There An Off Season? Not This Year!

How do you handle the off season?  I usually take it pretty easy after my last triathlon of the season.  Last year I was a complete slacker and only swam for about two months and completely ignored my running shoes and my bike.  This year, however there is a different plan in mind.

My goal is to try and maintain the fitness that I had at the end of the season.  Honestly, I ‘m not off to a great start because a month ago I got my flu shot and then promptly came down with a really bad cold.  It wasn’t the flu, according to the test they did at the doc’s office 12 days into my sickness, but what ever it was it was the worst I’ve felt in pretty much as long as I can remember.  5 days of 101 fever, and weeks of coughing and really colorful stuff coming out of my head. Ugh…

But putting that aside let me get back to the fitness maintenance!  You see I have probably the most important race of my life in 2014.  I went to Milwaukee this past August and competed in USAT Age Group Nationals and qualified for TEAM USA and am going to the World’s Short Course Championships in Edmonton, Canada next year!!

Me and Becky at Nationals!
I have always been self coached.  After 28 years of racing I have a pretty good grip on what works for me in training.  But for this race I’m actually going to do something different.

I’m going to work with a Coach!  Kyle Joplin, owner of Tri Optimum Performance , was my Masters Swim Coach in Hattiesburg, MS.  He and his wife, Denise, own Runner’s High - Hattiesburg’s Specialty Running Shop.  Kyle’s resume for producing top athletes is impressive.  Not only is he a really good coach but has the component that makes a “good coach” a GREAT coach – and that is he really wants you to improve, pushing you to achieve your very best.  I witnessed this when I was swimming with the YHubFins Masters.

Me, Denise, and Brinn on my last ride in Hattiesburg!
You might argue that all coaches want this, but in swimming I have only had two coaches that did this.  Steve Panzram with Crawfish Aquatics in Tibodaux, LA was the coach with HubFins when I first moved to Hattiesburg and he took my swimming to a new level by completely changing my technique.  Kyle took it to the next level with his coaching – driving us harder and harder and pushing us in every workout with triathlon specific workouts.  The thing I miss most about Hattiesburg is those 5:30 am swims with Denise and Brinn (also coached by Kyle).  Denise and I did about 50% of our workouts together, she is an up and coming triathlete and one that you should watch!  She also writes a blog – “I May Be Short…but I TRI Hard!

Denise and Kyle Joplin
Tri Optimum Performance 
The plan this year is not to be a slacker over the off season.  My typical training is 3 x 3 workouts per week. 3 swims, 3 rides, and 3 runs.  The swims are with Masters and are somewhat dictated by the workout of the day – but I do have some specific instruction about sets within the workouts.  I coach with COSST – The City Of Shreveport Swim Team and our Head Coach, Butch Jordan has told me that he will help me here get ready for Worlds and allow me to swim with the Varsity Swimmers!  In Hattiesburg Kyle runs his Masters workouts more like an Age Group Program so this will be right up my alley.

On the bike I typically have two shorter rides during the week averaging 30-40 miles and a longer ride on the weekend.  One of the rides may be tempo or an interval ride, the weekend is a easier paced ride focusing on distance and consistency.  Running workouts are somewhat similar.  Now… this is what I have done in the past and it has worked for me, I have yet to see what my Coach has in store!

The plan is to schedule an Olympic distance triathlon in April or May – this will be the test race to see where the holes are in the training.  I’ll be racing a bunch of Sprint distance races throughout the season too – haven’t cemented the schedule yet but will plan to meet up with Denise and Kyle at some races.

So after my 4 week hiatus from training because I was so sick I did my first run yesterday, nice and easy to get my legs back under me.  A whopping 2.59 miles – this morning my legs are sore!  2.59 miles.

This is why there is no off season!

Team Aquaphor December Fitness Challenge!