Some of you may have noticed that there has been a big gap since my last post. Don’t worry the Average Athlete is still here, I have just been extraordinarily average over the past couple of months.
Sometimes you need a break
It may not be the case for some of the Elite athletes but this certainly applies to me and most average athletes out there.
I find that after a long season it really helps to take some time off to recharge. This time off is referred to as the “off season” or “drinking season”.
You may ask “why drinking season”? Well, I find that during this “drinking season” there is a negative correlation between the hours I spend training and my ability to consume beers.
Negative correlation is a relationship between two variables in which one variable increases as the other decreases, and vice versa.
And for those readers from my alma mata, Sandringham, who may still not understand this I will explain negative correlation by using a graph.
I work hard on honing my drinking skills during the off season. Like any athlete this requires hard work and dedication. Many hours spent at the bar focusing on endurance and technique. I feel that the off season allows me to break out of my cocoon like the social butterfly that I truly am.
Taking some time off allowed me to binge watch some of the better Hulu and Netflix series that I had been missing out on. A few notable finds were Stranger Things, Wayward Pines, and 11.22.63.
Jokes aside, the off season does allow you to spend some much needed time with your partners and family that have supported you throughout the season and have put up with your never ending exhaustion.
When to get started again
Trust me you’ll know… you’ll just know.
My main indicator is normally my weight and when my eating habits deteriorate to this……
How to get started again
It’s not always easy getting going again after a long break. The first few weeks are really tough. I fatigue rapidly on the bike and on the first few runs my lungs feel like they are going to explode and my legs ache for days after.
A few things that I find help a lot:
- Book an event- Nothing gets you going like a bit of panic training. Something big, (but not too big…don’t be silly) and near enough in the future that it forces you to get your ass into gear.
- Get a coach or training program – A lot like Gandalf the Grey guiding Frodo Baggins to Mordor, a good coach or program can give you the structure and motivation you need to find training consistency. I have started up again with Glen Gore. I enjoy how interactive and encouraging it is working with him. An alternative is to find a program online or through a platform like training peaks which also allows you to monitor your progress and training load.
- Find good training partners – It always helps to suffer with a friend. Some sessions are better to do solo but training with friends always helps for those long tedious rides.
So what’s coming up
- Joburg to Durban road bike tour with Amashova – 13 to 16 October 2016
- Rockman X-Tri – One of the best events on the calendar. An Off-road Ultra triathlon. Very tough event especially in December heat – 4 December 2016
- Durban Ultra Tri – After 20 years, this 70.3 distance event will be returning on 5 March 2017
- Ironman 2017 – clearly the memory of this year’s pain has dulled enough for me to be ready to commit to 2017 – 2 April 2017
- Drink less beer – this may be one of the harder goals to achieve.
- Learn to swim – undoubtedly my weakest discipline. My current approach to the swim is pure survival. As much as I would cherish the opportunity to be saved by Jasmine and Pamela, I have decided that I need to start seeing a swimming coach to find my inner Penny Heyns.
- The sub 1hr30 half marathon (21km). If all goes to plan training wise I may be able to achieve this on a flat course
I am going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes which has motivated me to get going again.
The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer