, , ,

The holidays are an easy time to let loose.  Whether it’s the plethora of treats, holiday travel, or frigid temperatures, it’s not surprising that many people choose to take some time off in December.  Never mind the fact that Taylor and I have a wide variety of Trader Joe’s holiday snacks around our place – we both plan on using this time to our benefit.  Here are some of the short term goals that I’m focusing on between now and the start of training for next year’s races in February:

This one's for you, 2013 race season!

This one’s for you, 2013 race season!

1. Get stronger – Gym attendance typically dips in the month of December, and now is a perfect time to improve weaknesses.  Introducing weight lifting into my regimen during the second half of the 2013 race season translated to faster times and rapid recovery, and I’m going to continue lifting through next February, at a minimum.

2. Increase flexibility – My muscles are loose following a great deep tissue massage yesterday, and I plan to keep them this way.  Like lifting, flexibility gives me the power and efficiency I’ll need to compete at my best.

3. More quality, less volume – Now that Taylor and I don’t have a race coming up for some time, I’m not going to get as hung up on long efforts.  Instead, I plan to focus on shorter efforts that feel good without imposing constraints around each workout.

4. Improve my techniques – When I travel and sacrifice volume, I’m guilty of compensating upon my return.  When I compensate for volume lost, I tend to neglect techniques such as swim drills in place of workouts that will give me the most bang for my buck short term.  Since I’ve spent a good amount of time out of the water and out of the saddle during my training for the “dirty double“, I plan to catch up on my form work.

5. Eat up – I loosen the belt around the holidays.  Literally.  For me, it feels good to remove some of the stringent constraints I typically place around diet and exercise in place of doing what makes me happy for a few weeks.  Whether it’s an extra plate of food or an extra beer, I’ve worked hard this year, and I’m going to enjoy the holidays above all else.