Offseason is now over. I started training towards next season this Tuesday, 1st of November. Kona countdown in my mobile phone says 342 days. It is a long time to train, which I am really glad about! Of course there will be a bunch of shorter triathlon, running and cycling races before that, but there is no doubt what is the main race of next season.
My offseason was probably longer than ever before. It was 5 weeks without structured training, allowance to skip all trainings for which I didn’t have motivation, or if I felt tired. Right after the ironman I was very tired and I even became sick. After the flu, I tried to gather training motivation with MTB rides. I found motivation easily, but I also noticed that fitness is far from good. It was – and still is – horrible, to be honest. It is never nice to notice how fast a good fitness disappears. It wasn’t fun this time either. I felt myself heavy (as I was), big and slow. I tried to keep telling myself “luckily I was fit still on September 24th.”.
One nice thing in my 5 week offseason was that I didn’t skip swimming entirely, which I thought I would do. I surprised myself and even liked going to Tøyenbadet again.
Another nice thing in my offseason was to spend a holiday weekend abroad, which I haven’t done in ages. I used to hate non-race or training weekend trips, since (1) I like to train every day, (2) I don’t want to spend time explaining non-athletic friends why I want go for a run every day and not to eat burgers or pizza 3 times on a weekend, (3) I just like more being home and training. But when travelling with a friend, who has exactly same wishes for the trip, you can do just what you like: go for a morning run, rent city bikes and cruise with them, walk around the city as long as both feet are sore, buy spontaneously tickets to a football game (in girl company). Thanks Terhi for the best weekend trip ever!
In addition, another Finnish tri-girl Julia visited me this weekend and we shared a nice easy training & gossip weekend.
And now to next season…
I have made rather big changes in my training. I started to train with a new coach, Mette Pettersen. Although I felt I had quite good balance in my training last year, when nobody coached me, I felt I was doing a lot of things in a bad way. I was a little stuck at doing things on the way I liked, not for sure on the most optimized way. In addition, I was missing a person with whom to talk about my trainings, race preparations and races, someone to get feedback from and push me forward. I was super happy, when Mette agreed to start to coach me.
We will change my training to become more structured: not only training a lot and similarly every week, but having clear difference between easy and hard weeks and different training periods. In addition, already after one week I’ve noticed that regular tests and better cycling trainings are included in the training schedule.
The first training week has included some tests: CSS swimming test and up-hill running test on treadmill. As I hate all kinds of tests, this week has been a pain in the ass! And the pain will continue still next week, when I’ll run a VO2MAX test in a lab and cycle FTP test with my trainer and PowerTaps.
The tests have shown that I am far from good shape at the moment. I cut down all intensive training after Mallorca and see well its effects now. It is indeed very difficult to be in top shape all the time. However, being “out of shape” in November and having 11 months to next season’s main race is quite okay, I think. I have plenty of time to build up my shape gradually and get used to slightly new kind of training routines. Hitaasti hyvä tulee. However, I’ve had quite a lot of difficulties to accept that myself.
My next race season is still quite open, but I’ve made already some plans. I will probably open triathlon season in May with a half distance race. In June-August I’ll race in Norway and in August-September I’ll possibly train a week or two in a very warm place to adjust myself to warmth. I’ll end my season in Kona in October. Besides Kona, I won’t do any other full distance races next year. I’d probably liked to have my name in Norseman participant list, but as completing a full distance triathlon in August does only bad for Kona training, and my plan for Kona is a podium place, I won’t take any risks that could ruin my Kona plans.
Now it is time to learn intensive training rhythm again and enjoy all the hard and easy work. And early dark mornings.
Finnish triathlete living in Norway