Monday, March 14, 2011

The Off Season

So what have I been up to this off season?  I’ve been busy!   I’m getting revved up for the final push to Ironman Wisconsin.  I’ve been building towards this goal for around 3 years now, and it seems like the pieces are all finally falling into place.
General Training
I’m approaching training in a somewhat untraditional way this year.  I’ve built a lot of intensity in and lowered my volume considerably.  I’ve been using Endurance Nation coaching to help me with this plan.  It appears that I’ll be coming into this season a good deal faster because of it.  It’s been rough though, all that intensity is…well…intense…
Medical Stuff
The intensity plus the cold resulted in the discovery that I have exercise induced asthma.  After steelhead last year I had a bit of an asthma attack, although I didn’t really know what that was at the time.  This winter I had another, more serious asthma attack.  A trip to the doctor later I’m now “fixed” with an inhaler.  It was a bit scary at the time, but it’s very controllable.  Life moves on. 
I’m also dealing with some biomechanical stuff related to the knee repair that I had done when I was huge and fell in the snow.  More on that later as it shakes out…
Bike Fitting
I recently went to visit Get a Grip Cycles in Chicago for a professional bike fit.  They spent a bunch of time looking at my flexibility, anatomy, and goals and put me on a fit bike.  Then they put me on a fit bike and did some motion capture video analysis to really get my fit dialed in.  They did good work, and I’m more comfortable than ever on Karma (my Cervelo P3).
I’ve been working hard, and not so hard, on my swimming.  All the intensity in my bike/run training has really left me wiped out.  A lot of the folks training with EN stop swimming during the off season because of stress involved with their bike/run training, and the “return on investment” of off season swimming.  I stopped for a while myself.  I missed it though, so I made a compromise and took my swimming back to the drawing board.  I stopped pounding out yards, and started doing entire swim sets of drills.  Drills, drills, and more drills.  Now I can bilaterally breath, swim with much less effort, and swim a bit faster as well.  It was time well spent, and it helped keep the weight off this winter!
The Other Stuff
Life has been very busy, and there isn’t really much time for all that much “other” stuff, but this off season has found me a little extra time and I’ve been having some good times.  I’m cooking my way through all the recipes in the book “Food Matters” by Mark Bittman (what an awesome book!!!).  I’ve also managed to finish all three God Of War games, Heavy Rain, and a few other titles on my PS3.  I’m really working to find some balance in all of this, and so far I’m winning…but it’s a fight!  Healthy is more than just triathlon though. 

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