Plans for the off season, told through GIFs

 Whenever I’m tired, lacking energy or just feeling shitty about letting other aspects of my life slide (hello, long lost friends, remember me?), I fantasise about the off season. I have about 3 months off before I start my next training cycle -more on that to follow- and I plan on using them to relax, revitalize and rehabilitate. I’m more excited about my off season than my next holiday tbh. So here are my plans:
 
Yoga. And lots of it.
I’ve come to live yoga again during this training season; it serves as cross training, stretching and strength building. Even my physio has noticed a difference in my glute and leg strength, despite conveniently ignoring the prescribed, repetitive exercises he’s given me and choosing their yogic equivalent. As an off season treat I’ll be buying a month pass to one of London’s many fabulous if not pricey hot yoga studios. I’m seeing it as an investment in myself.
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Finally getting round to swimming and cycling
Confession: I haven’t swum or cycled since the end of 2015. And as someone who’s meant to be doing a triathlon in June, this is pretty fucking dire. I’ve had my reasons (read: excuses)- a chesty cough has kept me outta the pool, whilst the thought of cycle-commuting in London fills me with existential dread and a very real fear of death. But mainly it’s that running is my main priority right now, and I figure the marathon will at least give me a good level of fitness. So post-marathon, the plan is lots of gorgeous swimming at the Olympic pool, and nice long cycle rides in the sun with the girls from tri club.
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Otherwise this will be me
A pedicure.
I’ve always loved having my toenails painted, ever since I was a kid and my mum would do them as a treat for me. But frankly I haven’t had time, and my feet are a complete fucking mess right now. Plus I’m weirdly protective/defensive of them. What if the pedicure ladies file off all the skin that’s been keeping me from getting blisters? And more importantly, what if they laugh about my horrific feet? Well, at least once you’ve done a marathon you can just shout MARATHON in defense.
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Maybe put on some weight
I’ve not been great this training season at having a relaxed attitude to my body. I’d imagined that training would make me more grateful for what my body can do, less fixated with what it looks like, and more chilled out about inevitable fluctuations in weight. Alas, that hasn’t been the case. Super lean, I-can-feel-my-abs days put me in a good mood, whilst fluffy, bloated days make me grouchy. This is really something I want to work on in my off season, as well as eating intuitively and trusting my body. Any book or article recommendations would be appreciated!
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The body confidence I need
Strength training and core work
I did a fair bit of both of these before my training season began, but there’s definitely room for improvement. I want to make sure I do everything I can to come back stronger and less injury-prone for my next training season. And luckily my work will be paying for my gym membership by this point! Not only am I going to do more stability and strength work, I’ll just be trying to switch it up a bit more in general.
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Kick ass at my job 
My job is pretty varied; some days I’m manically busy, and some days I’m left twiddling my thumbs. I haven’t complained about this so far, as it gives me the chance to neck coffee, read Runner’s World and try to stay awake. And then there’s the marathon brain- I’ve made a few minor screw ups when things have been busy and I’ve been tired. But I really wanna start kicking ass at my job and be able to ask for more responsibility in the finance aspect of my role, which is the part that interests me most. Plus it’d be great to go to work socials without having to duck out early because #longruntomorrow !
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Run free and happy
As much as I’m loving the discipline of a training schedule, and the opportunity it gives me to explore my city and push my limits, I’m looking forward to just being able to run for the sheer joy of it. Long runs, short runs, fast runs, slow runs- I want to just be able to do what I feel like. And I want to run junk miles- miles that serve no purpose other than to make me happy. Hopefully Spring will have sprung by this point and I can run freeeeeee!
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All in all I want to take everything I’ve learned this training season and put it into practice. I want to find balance between all aspects of my life, as well as my mental and phsyical wellbeing.
Is there anything else I should add?
What do you do in your off season?
Lots of love,
Pippa
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10 thoughts on “Plans for the off season, told through GIFs

  1. Eat all of the food. Although this can be categorized in “gain weight”. I am so with you on the body thing – I don’t necessarily want to gain weight but I am down to a weight that makes me happy and crazy all at the same time. I need to just be with my diet for a bit and not be a psycho.

    I have 4 weeks to recover before marathon training in between my cycles. I will have a longer off season in the fall, like I did last year. In my off season: lots of pole fitness, getting outdoors on my road bike, foam rolling, stretching/yoga, cooking and eating junk food, Netflix binging, staying out late and getting hammered (well, just once. I’m 33 and I’m not a big drinker, but one night of getting loaded sounds like fun).

    I like this whole off season fantasizing. It just really cheered me up!

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  2. Ah yes, Off-season blues. There doesn’t seem to be an acceptable term to describe it. ‘Maintenance’ is a phrase I hear, but coaches hate it. Certainly Pilates is a great help for your core (as opposed to Ben and Jerries, which is not, though I know which one I prefer). BTW, there’s a fun typo in your post (“Even my physio has noticed a difference in my flute and leg strength”). I know what you meant to say, but having flute strength didn’t half make me laugh!

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  3. For me, the off-season means brunch. I try to get out to eat on the weekends a couple of times during each fall off-season. It’s wonderful to wake up, sit around, and then go eat a bunch of food with the boyfriend instead of waking up, hydrating, and then going for a long run or ride.

    Also, I ride my bike a lot during the off-season. It’s when I get to explore all the local canyons without having to worry about mimicking the race course. 🙂

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    1. Yes! Brunch sounds lovely. I had a great brunch the other day on a Sunday (when I’d done my long run on the Saturday) and I ate ALL the food, but then had an argument with my friend cos we decided to go on a long walk and my legs hurt and i got hangry… my bad! 😛

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  4. I don’t make plans for the off season. I always say I’m going to do all this cross training and yoga and other stuff when I’m done marathon training, and it never happens. For me, a true off season is being free of things I feel like I “have” to do, so making all these goals for myself in between training cycles kinda defeats the purpose of that. I like to just enjoy the unstructured time and let whatever happens, happen.

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  5. I love having the freedom to run when ever and wherever without following mileage plans (and like Pheobe from Friends) Also like to go to the gym and try lifting weights, whereas usually I focus on cardio. Enjoy the time off!

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