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Great discussions! I was away over the holiday weekend and what a welcomed conversation to return to.
First off, Jason offers some great ideas. Unstructured activity or training is always welcomed. It’s healthy to just do what you want to do for a while. And sometimes those unstructured, cross training options can be very rewarding. Like soccer (as Jason mentioned), it’s great for your gluts! It’s excellent anaerobic training, which is very different than the aerobic training we do for triathlon, etc.
In a nutshell, there is no right or wrong answer for ‘what is next.’ However hopefully this gives you some ideas given where you are, what you hope to achieve and what your mind and body are feeling for the time being. What both Jason and I are encouraging is that you stay active in some manner, as this is the healthiest way forward.
Finally, thank you Justin for your response! Congratulations on your rewarding season. You knew you had a few areas to focus in on and this was the perfect time to do so. And it sounds like you were rewarded for your hard work. Now you are ready to head into your fall and next racing season with the grunt work (like refining your running mechanics, which is never fun!) accomplished and you can build upon it. Win win!
Obviously swimming is the one area where big improvements were challenging. And they could continue to be a challenge for the foreseeable future. I guess none of us will complain about having to drag ourselves to the swimming pool again 🙂
Now to answer your questions for 2021, My guess is that these races could be more challenging to get into since all of the race rollovers (at least for Ironman branded races). For the smaller race directors (like Kinetic Multisport), this shouldn’t be as much of an issue. I don’t think they had the rollovers and my guess is that there will still be many athletes hesitant to race until we know the racing environment is safe (or an effective vaccine is available).
And for this reason, we haven’t started planning the 2021 season quite yet. I have recommended to the DCTC that perhaps we look towards some late summer/fall goal races as this would give more time for all of this unfold. That said, there were some races that went off this season and my guess is that more and more race directors will find a way to do so.
So in preparation for what 2021 HIP season looks like, my recommendation would be to control what you can control. Just like you knew you had some work to do with your running, perhaps you just want to take the fall to get out for some easier but longer rides. This will help you build up your riding endurance. Maybe you need to get a better handle of heart rate zone training, as it becomes much more vital for long course racing (HIM and IM). If you end up doing some work on the trainer this winter, it’s a great time to better understanding heart rate and power zone training. And of course, keep healthy and active. This is the best way to jump into 2021, whenever we have a better idea how it will unfold.
Perhaps you take on your Dumpster Fire Triathlon and share how it goes for you. We can get an idea of what went well and potential areas for continued progress. This could be a great jumping off point for future goals. And then hopefully soon enough we can give you some more insight into what we are thinking/planning for the Half Ironman Training Program next season. I bet when races return, everyone is going to be super eager!
Great discussion! Let’s keep it rolling! Good luck with your Dumpster Fire Triathlon! Let us know how it goes!