With my last triathlon of the season having been completed on Sunday at Austin 70.3 I started thinking about what this off-season would represent for me. What I would focus on during this stretch. I have a half-marathon coming up in two weeks and then 4 weeks after that I am going to make my first (and possibly last) attempt at a Boston qualifying time at the Las Vegas marathon.
Neither of those events is a triathlon so what do I focus on that is tri specific in this offseason. Then it dawned on me that I don’t have much of an off-season considering I am racing 70.3 Puerto Rico in March of 2012. That race is 144 days away. If coach decides to do a 16 week training schedule that mean I would have 112 days of training (that includes rest days.) If you do the math that means that I would have a total of 32 days of an off-season, which will be filled with marathon training.
In doing some research into off-season ideas and thoughts from other athletes I ran across an interesting article in Active.com. The article was based on the time investment for the off-season. As a sales rep of internet marketing and web design I am always asked about ROI (Return On Investment) and that is what this article’s focus was. It spoke to me from a business perspective. Allow me to pause for a moment to say this is how I decide whether or not it is worth it for me to pay for a service.
For example, I could mow my own lawn. I could go get gas for the lawn mower. I could sharpen the blades. I could spend time walking the mower around and then edging, raking the clippings, etc……you get the picture. Let’s say that one mowing takes me 2 hours. So now this is where my MBA comes in. If I were to get paid $40/hour then the cost for me to mow my own lawn starts at $80 per mow. Let’s not forget the cost of gas and oil, etc but we will leave that out of this equation.
I pay a mowing service $25 per visit. So for the same $80 I can get 3 mows from the service and not have to worry about anything. That is a great ROI on my time. From an age grouper standpoint we need to calculate the ROI of a workout and this article did a great job at breaking it down.
The article pointed out three investment principles and they were:
Time Investment Principle #1: Any discussion of how to train must begin with a discussion of how much time you have available to train.
Time Investment Principle #2: What is your return on investment (ROI) on race day for every training session (and dollar) invested?
Here were the high-ROI investments:
- 45-90 minutes of hard interval training per week on the bike
- Well-planned tempo running intervals
- Running frequency
- 1-on-1 swim lessons, especially with underwater video
- Training with pace (ie, purchasing a GPS or training on a measured run course)
- Aero helmet
- Training with power
- Bike fit
- Weight training
- Swimming year round
- Race wheels, especially a rear disk
- Easy cycling volume
- Long, slow, distance running, to the exclusion of tempo work
Time Investment Principle #3: Training time cost is variable across seasons.
I do know that my off-season will include a new bike fit to make sure that all the parts are working together from my legs to the bike. I will also investigate training with power as I have heard Jeff and Jon speak of this often and virtually every article published today focuses on Watts and KJoules. I need to understand this to see how it can improve my performance.