It has been one week since my last race. Which means one whole week since I last did any exercise. A month before the end of the season, my coach called and told me he wanted me to have time off after the season. I asked “what do you mean time off??” I assumed ‘time off’ would still involve some riding, running and swimming. He explained, no, time off was time off and all good athletes take it.
I didn’t think I would manage not doing anything. I have been going hard and consistent for a solid 9 months. And naturally, being the obsessive Age Group competitor I am, I thought about the damages this could have on my World’s conquest for the middle of the year. I thought “I am so fit now, if I can hold on to it I will only get fitter” plus “I don’t know how to do nothing” or “I won’t know who I am if I don’t exercise”.
There are two key points here, one which I have learnt very quickly in the past week, the other I am still understanding and will hopefully see the results later in the year. The points being:
- Having time off is easy!
I have absolutely loved the past week. I have been social, not tired, and have so much less washing to keep up with!!! (to non-triathletes, generally you wear training clothes in the morning, work clothes in the day, training clothes after work, sports clothes after training… about 3-4 times more washing than when you don’t train!). I am looking forward to another week of relaxing and am currently in no rush to get back into my 10 sessions per week training routine.
- Recovery is the key to a successful oncoming season.
It is hard to know and accept now that the not training currently will pay dividends months down the track. But I was so physically and mentally exhausted at the end of the season (weeks towards the end mind you, not just the last race) that I believe it and am willing to try it.
Ryan Bourke (Tri Alliance coach and triathlete) published a great article that hit home exactly how I am feeling this week: http://tri-alliance.com.au/news-and-media/2014/04/02/triathlon-recovery-phase/ . He makes great points about taking advantage of this phase because before you know it you will be back into heavy training and have no time or be too tired to socialize, see family, or my pet hate – keep the house clean! He also makes a valid point about gaining a bit of weight for the winter months, which is something I had not considered, but am more than happy to try it out!!
Enjoying ‘recovery’ with Melb IM recoveries, training buddies and friends Dina and Amber (aka Di-amber).