Off-Season Training Plan

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First off, definitely thinking about everyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew.  Stay safe, everyone.

Now that my triathlon season is officially over, I’m into the off season and getting started with my off season training plan.  It’s not that I’m not racing, of course.  I’ve got a ten miler this weekend and two half marathons over the winter (both in Florida).  So there will definitely be plenty of quality time on my treadmill this winter.

But I also need to seriously focus on my biking, and more importantly my strength work and my diet.  Like a lot of runners and triathletes, as my race training really picked up, both strength work and proper meal planning really fell by the wayside.  I ate well about 75% of the time, though the meals weren’t anything exciting.  Lots of randomly throwing together protein and veggies to make a meal.  And when that’s happening, it’s so much easier to make an excuse to eat out and perhaps not make the smartest choices.

Don’t get me wrong – cookies will always have a place in my diet.  Just not as a meal.

Strength work is something that most of us forget when it comes to training.  I’m already swimming, biking, and running.  I need to find time to lift weights too?

Yes.  Yes you do.  And you don’t need a fancy gym membership to do it.  There are plenty of body weight exercises you can do, and picking up a few hand weights isn’t terribly expensive.  My weight system involves a series of hand weights I’ve picked up over the years (ranging from 5 pounds to 15 pounds, though I’d like to need something heavier by the end of the winter) and some exercise bands.

And since we live in a time of awesome technology, you can find all sorts of weight lifting videos on YouTube.  Plenty of great instructional clips out there to help you figure out what to do with those weights now that you’ve got them.

I picked up the weights Wednesday night once again (I’ve been doing some minimal stuff, but not a real quality workout) and it’s clear how much strength I’ve lost by redirecting my focus.  I figured it was possible, but didn’t realize just how hard the workout would be.  So it’s good that I’m back to regular lifting.  I need to make it a goal to continue strength workouts during the heavy training, especially core work, which will help prevent injury.

Do you include strength work in your routine?  How do you manage to fit it all in?  What are your favorite strength workouts?

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