So my off season began a little earlier than expected as for various reasons Tuna Friend Fiona and I decided to duck out of our last race of the season on the 14th October. Anyway, it is now the off season, and for me this is going to run until 30th December. My plans involve increasing endurance in cycling and running and improving technical skills on the bike and in my swimming and trying to maintain about 8 hours of training a week. The off-season will end with Mr Tuna and I going skiing for Christmas which will provide a natural break from tri sports as well as enabling ourselves to get some cross training in. We may even try cross country skiing this year, as I have read that it is particularly good for cross training! Once we get back, I'll be starting to train more seriously, focusing on building up swim volume so that I get the most out of my swim training camp in Tenerife in February, and focusing on building up run distance for my half marathon attempt the week before I go away. Icy roads are likely to make me avoid the bike to some extent so I may have to learn to love the turbo and try to fit in a session on that each week. But I'll be thinking more about 2013 a bit nearer the time!
So what are my goals from now until then?
1. Increase running training again with the hope of running 10k in less than an hour at the Eynsham 10k at the end of November. Last year my time was about 1h03, and although I've not been running so much this year yet, I did get a good time for my 5k at the end of my last sprint tri, so I'm hopeful! This will hopefully build a fairly solid base for my half marathon.
2. Increase cycling distance ability. 45 miles is the furthest I've been; I'd love to get to 56 miles, the distance that I'll need to cycle in the half ironman, before Christmas! Of course this depends on weather and group rides as obviously I want to support the latter, and the former could equal 56 miles of misery!
3. Improve cycle handling and technical abilities. Now that I'm in toe-clips, I need to get to the stage where I can do hand signals and grab a drink. I will have to see if Mr Tuna can spend an hour practising with me one weekend! Once this is achieved and I feel properly comfortable with the toe clips, it'll be time to give my cycling shoes and cleats a go (although at this time of year I'm a bit worried about cold toes!)
4. Improve my swimming technique. Mr Tuna says that my technique has dropped off over the summer from where it was at the start as I have got further and further away from the swim coaching that I had in February. If I'm honest, I've not been doing drills at all over the last couple of months, although I am starting to bring them back in again (and I can already start to feel the difference!). I've got a place booked on Tridynamic's Winter Swim Workshop in early November with the coach Dan Bullock. It's only half a day, but I hope it'll give me enough pointers to work on so that I can improve things a little bit in the couple of months before I head off to Tenerife for some serious work with the same coach and company!
I think that's enough for now, my main concerns are finding enough time for running and for doing the cycle handling, hopefully work will calm down somewhat and I'll have sufficient energy and motivation to get some running in in the evenings.