No off-season for the weary

Lately, I have been getting a lot of “what are you training for?” when people see me swimbikerunning.

The answer is – next season. I am training to become a better athlete next season. And to achieve my goals, I have decided that there will be no “off season” or extended period of rest.

When pros or top age groupers describe the “secret” to their success in triathlon, a common theme recurs. Consistency. They are not taking a few months off after an event and then re-building their base and starting from scratch. Nope. They’re at it 12 months a year, usually day in and day out.

We used to do this differently. I watched my husband race one Ironman per year, usually in the summer, followed by a winter of taking it easy. Each spring, he would struggle to lose the winter weight and re-develop his base fitness. Then, a couple of years ago, he decided to start training year round, and not coincidentally in my mind, a lot of PRs have been set in the meantime.

Some people claim it is hard for them to keep the focus when their goal event is months away. I don’t feel that way. I always have the clock and my Garmin to tell me how things are going. The numbers never lie, and they are there every day to let me know how I am doing, if I am coming closer to those goals for 2012.

So, for me at least, there will be no true “off season” this year. Here are my off season S/B/R goals:

• get my 100 time into the 1:30s
• find 10 more watts on the bike at MAF HR
• break 1:30 for the half marathon in California in Feb

See you on the roads or at the pool!



Halloween Hangover and Healthy Choices

It’s the day after Halloween and the kids have been busy organizing, counting, and categorizing their candy. I am thankful that we live on a little cul-de-sac with 20 or so homes, so we don’t have piles and piles of candy laying around. Typically, when we have too much candy or something else in the house we don’t want to eat, I just package it up for Mark to take to work. But I always feel a little guilty about that, too – promoting the unhealthy habits of other people by giving them crack, ooops, I mean, candy. I’m not sure what the solution is. Throw it away?

In the past couple of years, our active “tendencies” have transformed from a seasonal period when we would get in shape for some key races, to a year-round, active lifestyle. Mark and I do some sort of training pretty much every single day. In order to do that, we have had to reduce or eliminate other things from our life – like drinking. I like to have fun and drink with friends, but I have decided that I care more about feeling good for the next day’s workout. Mark has decided he cares more about getting a good night’s sleep. So we have a drink or two on occasion, but that’s about it.

People may accuse us of being boring and “no fun,” but those are usually the same people who express so much awe at our athletic endeavors. Time and time again, I hear, “I could never do what you do.” And in my head, I am thinking, “No, of course you can’t. Because you drink too much, eat crap all of the time, and never work out.” But I know because I have lived it that those people could accomplish physical feats if they wanted to. They would just have to make different choices.

Which brings me back to today and an article I just read from Lava by Dr. Phil Maffetone.  It was about staying healthy during the holidays.  Here is the list of healthy and unhealthy holiday habits:

The Best Holiday Habits:

1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
2. Be with those you want to be with
3. Stick with a holiday budget
4. Balance work and pleasure
5. Get enough sleep
6. Stay at home and have fun
7. Do things you’re passionate about
8. Shop locally
9. Buy and receive only healthy gifts
10. Share healthy food

The Worst Holiday Habits:

1. Spending money you don’t have
2. Visiting people you don’t like
3. Going to parties you’d rather avoid
4. Eating things you don’t want to
5. Drinking too much alcohol
6. Last minute shopping
7. Holiday travel (especially at peak periods)
8. Going on a diet January 1st
9. Gaining weight
10. Buying unhealthy gifts

Here’s to a healthy and happy holiday season!