Athlete: ”So, um, coach. What do I do now?
Do I have an off season?
Is there an off season?
I did my best Ironman ever and now what???
I think I”m tired of training but…
But I want to get better.
I getting fat!
I am a better person if I keep training.
My family thinks I”m addicted to training and racing. Help!??? ”
Coach: “Settle in. Grab that latte, kick off your shoes and let’s dig in.”
Off season means many different things to all of us. You can find 101 conflicting views and spin your head around even faster if you wish. Define your own off season as best suits you, but do give it some thought. Your training focus and the rest of your life are cyclical in nature even if they seem constant. Define it for yourself or take a few bits from one perspective offered here.
The first thing you do after your racing season ends is you go home and rediscover your life. Make up with your family. Spend time time with your pet. Go on date night. Laugh with your kids. Get back to your hobbies that make you more than just swim/bike/run/race/repeat. Remember when you used to do other stuff? DO IT!
Chances are good that these precious people or pets put up with you and your hard training so now you owe them some serious time and energy. Give back. Pay attention. Listen. Laugh. Live a bit!
The second thing to start your off season is to take an inventory of your year. Honest reflection about missed workouts, race results, goals missed or achieved, injury, stress, and life balance are a few suggestions. Grade yourself. By doing this, you set the stage for next year by learning from last year. If you don’t learn, you will simply swim/bike/run/rinse and repeat without gaining insight or improving.
Third, now is the time to ask for expert help with the items you just listed. You can’t fake flexibility, health, a great diet, life balance, body composition, speed, a strong sport psyche, great workouts, functional strength, good form, etc. Treat yourself to an hour with a great teacher and get your learn on. Stop saying that something is “good enough.” Dare to say “This can improve.”
Finally, after you plan your next season, figure out how much play time to allow yourself and do it! Enjoy working out without the structure of training. If you don’t feel like starting again, you don’t have to! (Newsflash!!!) Listen to your instincts. If you can’t let go of your structured training for a bit, then you will return to it uninspired. Doing workouts because you “should” is the wrong reason.
There is no should. Take your time. There is just do. Do when you are ready and in love with training again.
A blog reader asked me to translate the Japanese Spam comment that I wrote about yesterday. Here you go, thanks to Google translate. It is clearly a spam comment advertising “genuine articles” posted by someone named Ugg Boot. hahaha.
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Below is the original text. It was interesting to play with this string in the Google translate tool. If you make line breaks at different points in the string, the translation changes significantly.
Here is a wiki page about Japanese writing:
I don’t think that this could be Kanji. It’s got to be one of the syllabaries. 魅惑的な
I love reading comments on my blog posts from readers. It’s nice to know someone is out there actually reading the stuff I write. I also get chuckle out of the spam comments. Here’s a screenshot with my notes scribbled in the margins showing what went through my head as I read these. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!!!
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It’s funny, when I was a baby, I broke my collarbone twice. I broke it twice recently, too. I wonder if it hurt this much when I was a baby. Probably not.
I was midway into my training plan for Raleigh 70.3 Half Iron race when I broke my collarbone in a bike crash on April 9. Had surgery to put in a titanium plate on April 15th.
May 1st, I continued training in a one-armed fashion, and did Raleigh 70.3 on June 2.
PB in the one armed swim. Great bike (thanks to Sufferfest training videos!). Horrid run (aqua jogging does not prepare you for a race!).
In retrospect, not a good plan to do the Raleigh race. I am not Jonny Hoogerland. Read on…
Shoulder felt great after Raleigh 70.3 for about 10 days, and I felt normal again. Then pain gradually got worse until on July 1, I felt as bad as day I crashed. The surgeon could not see me that day, so I saw his Physician Assistant. She took an xray and said the bone looked fine, and had even healed some since last visit.
When I complained (in tears) about pain, swelling and drooping shoulder, she even got someone else to look at the xray, and confirmed all looked good. So, she sent me to do PT to strengthen my rotator cuff.
Well, I went to PT a few days later, again, complaining about the pain and swelling and drooping shoulder. She told me my rotator cuff was very angry at me, and I need to tough it out on the PT to get my muscles back to supporting the shoulder. So, I continued doing the PT exercises over the next couple of weeks. It caused even more pain and more swelling on my collarbone. I didn’t fnd out until three weeks later when I saw the surgeon again, that the xray on July 1st had shown another fracture. The surgeon reviewed the xray when I said I was still in extreme pain. He said the edge of the plate is a weak spot and some repetitive stress caused the bone to break. The bone was angled down kinda funny at the new fracture.
On August 7th, I had a 2nd opinion with another Orthopedic surgeon. The 2nd surgeon said that the plate was installed with two out of the three screws on one side of the collarbone into a part of the bone that had a hairline fracture. They normally try to get three screws on each side of a break into solid bone, but that side did not have that. He also said no need to do anything about the 2nd fracture, as it is not displaced, so even if it was a new fracture on an unplated bone, they would not do anything but let it heal naturally. He wasn’t concerned about the weird angle. That was a big relief.
The 2nd surgeon was surprised that I don’t recall falling or doing anything where I felt the second fracture. He even asked if I perhaps had gotten drunk and don’t remember. lol. Not sure if doing the Raleigh race contributed, since I felt great for 10 days after that race. Maybe the prep and raceday of Raleigh 70.3 kept that hairline fracture from healing, so it remained a weak spot ready to snap. I definitely don’t remember any sudden injury. I do recall a couple times weeks after the race, where I felt some pain that made me stop doing what I was doing. Not bone breaking pain, but enough to say woah, I better stop this.
Anyway, all the pain of that second fracture, combined with working long hours at a computer, made me protect my right arm alot for a few weeks, which led to frozen shoulder. That in itself is extremely painful. Worst. pain. ever. It felt like someone tore my arm off, and put it back on wrong. Worse pain than an ironman, because there is no finish line that you can see. Pain lasts for weeks not hours.
Two cortizone shots later, I felt much improved. Mobility was still limited in the right arm, but the 2nd surgeon said that will come back with time and PT. He said I will swim again someday. yay.
I wanted to blog about all this as the story unfolded, but I was in too much pain to type. So here is my story now, 5 months later. I am very much out of shape and have a long way back. I am now feeling great again, ready to get back on the bike, but I am forcing myself to wait this time until the surgeon tells me that it is 100% safe. I do not want to break my bone again. Did I mention: Worst. Pain. Ever.
Oakley Sunglasses are often considered an essential piece of equipment for cycling enthusiasts. Oakley has come up with several lens colors designed specifically for cycling, and they offer more polarized lens colors than any other brand. The Oakley Iridium coatings were also designed with cyclists in mind. These add an extra level of contrast as well as and a stylish mirrored look.
Prescription Oakley Sunglasses are now available with Free-Form Digital lens surfacing that recalculates a prescription at every point on the back of a lens. This provides the clearest vision ever possible throughout the entire lens. This new technique eliminates the “fishbowl effect” typically associated with prescriptions on wrapped sunglasses. The only drawback with these lenses is the prescription limits. Oakley prescription lenses for semi-rimless glasses like the popular Flak Jacket must be between +2.00 and -3.00. Fortunately, there is now a solution for athletes who are outside these limits.
The ADS Sports Eyewear optical lab uses the same type of Free-Form Digital lens design as the Oakley lab, but ADS Sports Eyewear prescription limits are +6.00 to -10.00. Putting these extreme prescriptions in large sports lenses would logically create a lens that is ridiculously thick. By using a new Lenticular Lens Design, ADS Sports Eyewear is able to place the prescription only where it is needed. The prescription power does not extend all the way to the edge of the lens, so the lens is 50% to 70% thinner. Since most people can’t see all the way to the outside edge of the lens this is an optical non-issue.
ADS Sports Eyewear is an authorized dealer for most of the major sports sunglasses brands. The company is optician owned and operated with a friendly staff that can answer all of your questions on the different frame and lens options. Oakley prescription orders also enjoy complimentary 2-day shipping anywhere in the continental United States.
Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Bolle Bolt Sunglasses in exchange for posting this article. Once I get a chance to try them out on a long bike ride, I will post more about those. They are really comfy for sure! And, they sure look super awesome! Thanks to the good folks at ADS Sports Eyewear!