Today I did my last triathlon of 2010, finishing the season on a high with a good second place at Hever castle.

I don’t know about you but I can feel with every part of my body that the end of the season is here. I noticed the first signs the day after the Bala standard distance triathlon. I was tired. The idea of putting my running shoes on for my usual Monday session made me think twice, and I took a rain check. I wasn’t even looking forward to the next race, just looking forward to getting it over with. But despite the tiredness there’s something deeply satisfying about this feeling. This year I have raced, raced, and raced until I truly had enough. And now I will have a break, because I want to, because I deserve it, but mostly because I need to. Everyone needs a time to recharge their batteries.

The end of season break is talked about a lot but many people get it completely wrong. This mostly expresses itself in extremes. Either there is no break, and training for the next adventure, the late season marathon, cross country season or similar starts straight away. Alternatively some just stop and there is no exercise for several weeks. I’ve never done the first, but I’m very guilty of the latter.

Here’s what I think is necessary for a successful end of season break.

Don’t race, but don’t stop exercising. I think it’s very important to keep the routine going. So if you usually run on Monday, keep doing so. But instead of lung – bursting intervals, go for a short gentle jog. If Thursday is your bike day, make sure you ride your bike at least for a little while. This way you keep active, combat off season weight gain, and most importantly when the time comes to return to training, you don’t have to establish a routine from scratch. We all know how hard habits are to create, yet how easy it is to get out of them.

Now I’ve got the serious stuff out of the way, here’s what the end of season break is for ; spending time with family and friends! Going to the cinema, enjoying a night out, and finally doing that bit of DIY you’ve been meaning to do for ages….. If you’re having trouble staying away from the sport, evaluate the season just gone, start making plans for the winter and next season, learn about bike maintenance, and find out how to set up your bike properly. If you are self – coached, now is the perfect time to read about training, and get some ideas for the future. If you are member of a club, get involved in admin, coaching, or organising social activities. There’s always plenty to do.

I myself am now off to enjoy a week in Germany to see my family, celebrate my gran’s 96th birthday, and generally chill out. Will I be doing any swim, bike, run? You bet, in fact I can’t wait to make use of the lovely local pool. But it’s just exercise, not training.

Hope you enjoy your end of season break!

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