Enjoying Planned Downtime

Consuming more calories than burning them is what happens to me in the offseason and I’m enjoying it very much. Well, for the most part. I am feeling a bit like a blob right now but more on that later. Today I’ll share the importance of taking downtime both mentally and physically.

When I came back from Miami five weeks ago after competing in the 2019 USAT Duathlon Long Course National Championships, I was ready for a break. I finished a four month heavy volume training block culminating in my final significant race of the year. When I arrived back in Safety Harbor I immediately let the guard down on a few things including my nutrition guidelines.

To ensure I was racing in the most optimal state I had my nutrition dialed in and that included eliminating desserts for two months. My first sugar filled dessert post race tasted terrible!!! I had this dessert before on multiple occasions and loved it but because I hadn’t consumed any processed sugar in over eight weeks by taste buds had changed and boy did my body reject it. What a beautiful thing…the body knows when you put crap in it.

Pleasure eating a bit was just one of the things I looked forward to doing after the racing season. Whatever your hobby or demands are I believe it is critical to plan and take breaks/downtime. This can help to focus on things that you have had to push off, reflect on what you have been doing, and plan going forward including changes you may want to make.

The timing of the race also coincided with me moving into a new role at work.  As I am feeling my way into the position, it is taking extra time and energy including lots of travel for meetings and training. The extra time back from a lean training schedule has allowed me to bulk up on the work transition.

This time of year means I get to see my daughter Morgan more…yay! We had a blast over Thanksgiving break doing a few traditional things. We ran Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning and ventured out for what I call ‘Black Thursday Night’ shopping and people watching. We always go out Thursday night late prior to ‘Black Friday.’ Fun stuff…

She is home now for the Christmas holiday break and we did another annual tradition of ours’ last night as we took in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show (upper right photo above). We also squeezed in Christmas shopping, a Vegan Market, and dinner at Cider Press Cafe prior.

On the entertainment theme since Miami, I ventured out to see a movie a few weeks back and watched a few others on Netflix. The Irishman was quite good.. I also consumed a few pleasure podcasts in the true crime genre, Dr. Death and Over My Dead Body…some crazy stories.

I spent considerable time preparing for the November Healthy Giraffe Event. This was one epic night with 41 great people attending. A fast follower was the The Healthy Giraffe December Road Trip to Eco Bean Organic Coffee House. I can’t believe it’s been two years since starting The Healthy Giraffe – blogging every week and hosting the monthly events. More to come on that in an upcoming post…

Thank you Eva and Elia Luti for my birthday gift, a symbolic adoption of Randall, a giraffe at the ZooTampa at Lowry Park. I was able to see and feed him a few weeks back. Doing a bit more research on Randall and giraffes inspired me to become a member of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. I chronicled this story in the recent blog, Welcome Randall the Giraffe.

Training and racing is very important to me so this time has given me time to reflect on the year and look forward. I’ve already identified changes I will be making in my cycling plan for the next season and have mapped that out through May. I am making a few changes in my strength and conditioning routine and I’m continuing my education and experience running 10ks as they will be the most common distance in my big races next year. I have mapped out my race calendar for 2020 and feel great about it.

Since Miami, I have significantly backed off of volume and intensity for both the bike and run. I was hoping to start my winter running routine a bit earlier but I am addressing what I hope is a minor nagging injury now. I am being extra cautious now when I can afford to be and will hopefully put it behind me before I need to pick things up soon…

The downtime is working as I’m getting restless and want to pick things up again. Getting that ‘edge’ and ‘hunger’ is the desired state… Once I do I’ll be locked in for the next five months and then take another break to reset for the 2nd half of the year. I’ll be blogging about effective planning shortly.

It’s so important to be intentional with what we do and want to accomplish and it’s just as important to plan and take the downtime.

– Add Health to Your Life

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