Offseason? Is that what I'm In?

triathlon_offseason_training_ROIWith 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?
offseason_triathlon_trainingHere 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
The bad or low ROI investments were:
  • 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.

What Are Your Plans For This Off-Season?

Do You Calculate ROI for Life and for Training?

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Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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