Everyone knows by now that the off season is an important time of the year for training. It’s when you focus on your limiters, improve your technique, and build strength and base for the upcoming year, not when you sit around on the couch, binge viewing old TV shows on Netflix while eating bagfuls of Doritos.
I was talking about this very subject with an athlete I coach earlier today and an analogy that one of my old coaches used came to mind. He said that athletes should think of their competitive season training as building a big cannon, and that the off season was when you build the ship that you place that cannon on. In other words, the base miles you put in during the off season form the foundation for the cannon that is the speed work that you do during the competitive season. So, sticking to the analogy, you can imagine the results if you took a great big cannon and tried to fire it off a canoe. All the best equipment, nutrition, planning, and speedwork are only as effective as the base training that supports them. So what kind of ship are you building over the upcoming off season? When you head to your A race next spring are you going to be on a canoe or a battleship?