off season

strava year in sport

It’s been a long time since I last updated this blog. It wasn’t that I haven’t been doing any races.

Since my last post, I’ve done a number of trail challenges in Beijing, Datong (3 hours drive from Beijing) and Shengzhou (in Jiangsu province) and completed my first Ironman 70.3 race in Xiamen. In between races, I travelled to Malaysia to see family, moved apartments and started a new job.

While I familiarised myself with my new work environment, I took the chance to do a stocktake of 2017 and give my body a much-needed time of R&R. I called it my off-season. I still swam, ran and biked during this time but I wasn’t in training mode. I attended a few yoga and functional training classes by way of Guava Pass.  I went on hikes and did some strength work. For about 6 weeks, I focused on having fun and enjoying myself instead of hitting targets.

 

hiking
Hiking in Mentougou

Some of my friends would call what I’ve described above as ‘doing junk miles’ or ‘a waste of time’. In the past, I would’ve agreed with them. I was convinced I had to give every workout, every race 110%, otherwise it was just a waste of time. I was always stressed that if I didn’t keep up my training, I’d lose my hard-won fitness and my VO2-max will fall.  But after accumulating a bunch of injuries at the end of two race seasons in a row, I’ve begun to see the ‘light’ (read: my physio’s advice) and the importance of R&R.

 

It seems that my little off-season has paid off. My left knee and shin haven’t given me much trouble when I biked and ran. And if I’m to believe my stats on Strava, I’ve actually gotten a little faster in my swim, bike and run times. Now I just need to keep up with my (boring) strength work for the rest of 2018 and not get carried away only doing cardio.

With the start of 2018 came the start of race season prep. I’ve signed up to do Japan 70.3 in mid June, my first overseas triathlon.  My goal is to finish in 6:30. This is a challenging goal for me since I finished my first 70.3 in November in a little over 7 hours, and my new job requires me to work long hours most days. I’ll need to be more disciplined and focussed in my training in the lead-up to the race.

New year. New challenges. Bring it on!

 

 

 

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