Friday, February 11, 2011

2011: Offseason

I have been having a hard time trying to classify how I think 2011 will be for me in training and racing.  After much thought, the best way for me to describe it will be "Offseason".  Why such a title?

In the offseason, people generally back off considerably on training volume, have a few more beers than they usually do, sleep in, read more, skip a Saturday ride and not feel guilty, see friends they don't see as often, maybe start working more on strength training or their weaknesses and do things they don't normally do during the season.

And this is exactly how I plan on spending my season this year! (except I do not plan on swimming!)

Under Chuckie's guidance, I definitely accomplished way more than I thought I was capable of.  It was structured training, but not always.  There were some "caveman" workouts thrown in there at least a couple times a week where I was to train by feel - to get in touch with how the motor was firing, not just being concerned with the output, and to not rely on data (gasp!).  The Yang to that Yin was also spending a considerable amount of time watching and chasing certain numbers on the yellow head unit that sits a top my stem (as quite a few coaches would prescribe).  Coupled with not training with people enough, and an injury that no one can figure out (keeping my fingers crossed: yet), I got kinda burnt out on endurance training.  I tried slowly re-introducing it back in January, and there was some digression in the rehab department, and so I resigned myself from doing any endurance training until I can get some stuff squared away.

I was kinda ready for a little change of pace, and was stoked that my Christmas gift from Michelle was doing a Wilderness Basics Course through the Sierra Club.  Having just watched 127 hours, reading the book, then reading Miracle in the Andes, it re-sparked a sense of adventure and doing some thing new that had been missing since after doing RAAM in 2009 not to mention that reading these stories of triumph through adversity was fairly moving.  (Quick aside: I was sweating during "the scene" in 127 hours, and when I read the book).

Now, do I plan on setting myself up in situations that are life threatening?  Absolutely not!  But, if & when I do get back into any type of training, there needs to be a sense of adventure with it.  After having done 2 Ironman's and RAAM twice, I can definitely say that my thought process and mentality towards the two are completely different, and that I enjoy the mental aspects of training for RAAM (or similar challenge) way more.  It's rather hard to quantify and describe in words, but maybe I'll try to do so in a subsequent blog post.

This year will also be a year of experimentation - partly influenced by Tim Ferriss' latest book, partly by the last time I was experimenting with my diet and I found out what really works for me, and partly wanting to find out what other things work for me athletically.  I definitely want to try adding more more cross functional and "natural" exercise routines, such Mark's Workout of the Week, MovNat, CrossFit, rock climbing, along with some strength training programs at Rehab United.  If you look at a world class athletes like Jonas Colting who does this type of stuff a few times a week, I'd be foolish not to start making that part of my routine in the event I do hop back on the bike and start running again. (I'm trying to come up with a comment for Slater who was just nipping on his heels during all of Ultraman, and I am still amazed by that dude!)

So, until some challenge comes along that sparks my interest (I'm willing to hear suggestions!), and the chassis can support the training, this blog may be a little quiet on the training front.  Until then, I'm off to do some camping this weekend, and looking forward to doing some snowcamping in Mammoth with WBC next month!

Train hard, and (most importantly) have fun!

ps: I want to get a Mountain Bike.

pps: Here are some pics from my 30th birthday a few weeks ago.  Remember what I was saying about not feeling guilty about missing a Saturday bike ride?

Me "taking my time" doing my first jump, and then finally doing the plunge:

Me on jump #2 of 3

 Erin posing:

Greg's facial expression says it all:

My facial expression also says it all (click to zoom) during an elevator drop - described by the man who invented bungee jumping in North America - "Ten times scarier than any other jump you could do" (confirmed).

If you want to know why it's so scary, check out this video of the guy describing it (if you can hear him above people making fun of me and me roaring about how bad ass it is!)

The crew: