Periodically we’ll do a “roll call” to find out a little more about the EFRT members and to see the diversity in approaches to topics related to training and racing. Leave us a comment and tell us what YOUR plans are for the off-season!!

I recently did a 14 day cleanse and semi-fast. I have incorporated the Neuromuscular Activation and Dynamic Warmup routine that was detailed in the Endurance Films Triathlon Training Series DVD 5. I have also added the Yoga for Athletes DVD program on Sundays. [Siphiwe Baleka, 40, Muncie, IN] I am really focusing on strengthening both my upper and lower body this off-season. It’s the only way I can stay away from injury particularly in my legs (ITB and knee problems). The craziest thing to my off-season so far is realizing how much I used to eat! When training I would eat almost every hour or two. Now I find myself saying, hmmm…what should I eat…and then realizing I am not hungry so why would I eat! [Liz Baugher, 23, College Station, TX] Hands down the hardest thing ever…I'm changing the way and what I eat.  I hired a Whole Health Fitness Practitioner to evaluate my current diet.  Apparently my food pyramid needed to be flipped upside down…who knew?  So out with ALL my comfort foods (processed anything…chips, crackers and cookies) less caffeine, dairy and meat, more green stuff and fruit, seeds, soy, nuts, less “animal”!  No protein powders, supplements of any kind, minimal artificial powders such as carbs or electrolytes to add to water for bike rides.  More natural ingredients, no bars with a laundry list of ingredients only bars with “live ingredients” are allowed and actually taste a lot better.  Still learning what works and what doesn’t plus finding the time to grind stuff into a powder only to add it to more ground up stuff in a drink but I now have the energy to get up and be at masters at 5:45 am three days a week which is huge as I am NOT a morning person unless it’s race day. [Diane Camet, 41, San Diego] [caption id="attachment_1031" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Casey Bateman"][/caption] During the off season, I take two weeks off from triathlon related exercise. I usually choose to walk the dogs for an hour at a time, take time to relax and see friends I don't see as much when training, and reevaluate what took place over the season. I think about what I was pleased with and what I felt needed more work. After a self evaluation my coach and I sit down and evaluate together and plan goals and training and racing for the next year. I don't usually like to spill the beans about my goals for the year as I believe there is enough pressure with myself and coach already. I also don't reveal much about training except that it is very long miles during the off season with a little time-trial benchmark work. Nutritionally I eat a lot less trying to keep the weight down close to racing weight and take time to re-evaluate what I need and don't need in the diet (More veggies). [Casey Bateman, 21, Santa Maria, CA] I periodize my training and nutrition annually. I focus on strength and endurance during November and December, strength and power January- March, and speed/transitions April-May, then maintenance/core stabilization during racing season. Each section includes extensive core stabilization and multiplanar work to avoid repetitive motion imbalances. That means the next few months I will focus on getting my calories from protein (.8gram per lb body weight) first and fill in with nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables. Teaching your body to use fat as fuel leads to improved performance, no GI distress, more energy, and also decreases the need for numerous gels. (See Bob Seebohar’s book “Metabolic Efficiency” for more details) During my speed section I slowly start adding in some ‘sports sugar’ from Hammer gel and Heed. [Laura Bergmann, 29, Ranson, WV] I dont take much of an off-season.  I use this time to focus on a weakness that I discovered in the previous season and spend some more time in the gym correcting muscle imbalances.  This year I will be focusing on my run for the next two months. Since I don't see working out as a chore I see it as a lifestyle my time off is limited.  [Nick Logan, 30, Norwalk, CT] After my marathon, I'll take a little time off from running to give my legs a bit of extra recovery before ramping up again for the Boston Marathon in April. Even though my triathlon season will not start until May, I'll continue to bike and swim, with a particular emphasis on swimming, the least of my strengths. I plan to increase the intensity of my strength training in the gym, keeping with a 3-day split, but working in lower rep ranges than I did during race season. Off season is a time to rejuvenate mentally and re-focus on my family and work. I look forward to a few snow days and being housebound with the kids! [Cortney Martin, 44, Blacksburg, VA] As we age, the troublesome equation of "twice the time to get in shape, than to lose it" raises its sweaty nose, so off-season tri training should always be focused, in order of priority, on the following, for greatest success during the on-season:
  1. Fun and inspiration through physical movement such as yoga in front of a good movie or with your favorite loved one, run with the kids while they bike along, or cross country ski at a beautiful ski resort for vacation.
  2. REAL HEALTH found in balancing spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being, by focusing more on harmony, rather than on monitored work out results. Examples include Buddhist or nutritional retreat, mountain or rock climbing, or strenuous hikes in the back country with mindfulness and clarity. Increasing your awareness capacity makes for a much better athlete.
  3. Increase physical strength, without too much muscle size gain, through fun "weight" training, with all movements incorporating balance and focused on form and efficiency
  4. Adequate cardio and sport specific training, a lot at low intensity, to maintain your pre-existing base.
(The above off season health recipes suggested by someone who came from a ball sport background, that just loved body surfing 20ft waves at the Wedge, running up mountains in Yosemite, or biking 100 miles on a no-speed beach cruiser as a kid, just to see the other side of the mountain.) [Scott Endsley, 57, San Diego, CA]  


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