I'm still working on my race schedule and goals for 2017, but in the meantime I've been working on my off-season plan. 2017 will be my 10th year in triathlon. I'd like it to be a good one, so I need a good plan for the off-season to address my limiters and take care of the things I feel have been holding me back...
My swim was never strong, but it has gotten worse since my back injury. I'm not sure what the deal is exactly, but I think a lot of it has to do with my left leg (that's the one that was numb for several months when I was injured). That calf still cramps when I swim and I think that leg has a really weak kick right now and I suspect I'm not pointing my toes on that leg so that foot is creating drag.
Other than calf cramps, I'm tired of giving up big chunks of time in the swim and playing catch up the rest of the race. It's time to make some improvements.
This is mostly related to my injury, but also I think hitting the weight room this year will be good for me. I think my back injury created some big imbalances that I need to address. My plan is to do some light lifting to build a bit of a foundation and then do an 8-week block of heavy lifting to build strength. Then I want to dial it back to a maintenance routine that I'll continue through 2017. I also plan on working in some plyometrics and speed and agility drills. I think those will be a good change of pace, and that stuff can be fun. Also, core work will be a big part of my weights routine.
My diet has gotten worse over the past few years. I've gotten lazy and have lost a lot of the variety I used to have in my diet, and Ironman training has never been good for my diet. I want to clean up my diet, cut out the sugar, add more variety and then see if I can keep that going throughout the season next year. This will be the toughest change for me to make.
Running hard after my injury caused issues so I haven't done much intensity the past two seasons. I think I've gotten to a point where I can handle higher intensity, and making sure I can handle more intensity will be a huge focus for me in the off-season. I want to do track workouts again, run 5Ks, etc. I'm thinking about doing a block of 5Ks this fall and maybe doing some indoor track workouts over the winter like I did several years ago. I set a goal of breaking 30 minutes at Crazylegs back in 2008. The closest I've come is 30:36 in 2013 so I'd really like to focus on that and see if I can finally check off that goal.
felt like yoga helped me a lot last year so I want to get back into it
and hopefully continue doing some yoga throughout the season next year.
Last on the list because it won't be a focus this off-season. I'm going to back off for a while and focus on other things. That's a risk because it's my strength, but I'm banking on it coming back quickly. I'd still like to improve my threshold a bit for next season, but I have more to gain in the pool and on the run so I'm going to focus on that for a while. I've never felt like a very complete triathlete with my bike usually ranking much higher than my swim and run so for my 10th year in the sport I'd like to finally become a more complete triathlete.
So those are the general things I want to work on. Now I need to spend some time figuring out my plan, and then I need to execute that plan. It's one thing to say I want to improve my swim (or whatever), it's another to actually pull it off. To do that, I need to have a plan. I'll post more details once I get them figured out.