Fall / Winter Insight

It seems that my blog has just become a series of race reports. While I do enjoy writing them and find them invaluable from an introspective aspect, I thought I might jot down some thoughts during this down time to perhaps reflect a bit on the year as a whole and my Fall/Winter plans.

After my last race, Soma Triathlon, it was very very apparent that I needed to take some much needed time off. Although I am a firm believer in doing the work, I have also come to realize that there comes a point where you sometimes need to step back and take a break. This from as much of a mental standpoint as a physical one. However, in my constant quest to be better, in all things not just triathlon, I have been looking into the “why” of why I needed to take a break. I believe that the break was necessary given my situation but I do not want to believe that is was not avoidable. The reason I needed a break was because I was mentally drained from a long, hard season. My mind simply was not in the game at this point. During the last 10 miles of the run at Soma, I just wanted to be finished. I could not stay in the moment and just wanted to be done. This is an impossible mindset to race and train from. Every workout, you are finished before you start. So how could I avoid this in the future…simple, better planning. The point is to win….the point is not to win every single race you can possibly squeeze onto your schedule. Next year will look very different.

After Soma, I took two weeks completely away from the sport. I did nothing remotely active…lol. I just enjoyed coming home from work and resting.  My coach Brian Stover and I also removed all my end of the year running races I had planned. This lifted a big weight off me. I did leave a couple of the races but decided to run them as a pacer for my girlfriend Ashley. This had the same effect. The pressure of racing was gone and my mind was able to still rest. Then I returned under a very unstructured plan…again, to keep the pressure off. If I wanted to skip a workout, no big deal…..I’d just skip it. It has been so nice to just ride my bike. No power numbers or threshold intervals. Just nice easy rides. This went on till about Thanksgiving.

I’m now sitting in Las Vegas where I have been for over a week. I attend a convention here for work at this time every year. I’m also running the Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Sunday but once again as a pacer for Ashley. When I return, my schedule gets a little more structured through Christmas and then probably back into full swing after New Year’s. I’m looking forward to some early season training for Oceanside 70.3. I have serious unfinished business with the Half Iron distance. I’m hoping for a solid showing and a good run. Even though I have my schedule structured after Oceanside, I am not looking past that race. The main goal of next season will be qualifying for Vegas 70.3 WC but attaining that spot will be a by product of solid training and racing with my focus on the task at hand.

I took the lessons from this year to help better structure next year (2012). The focus will be narrower and I will not try to be all things triathlon. That means less racing. Well, less triathlon racing. I may add in some more individual sport races, ie. Masters meets and some road races/TT’s to keep some diversity. I’ve never done a standalone swim meet and I’m really looking forward to that. I’m not looking forward to getting my ass handed to me at them, but I still want to give them a go. Hopefully, with some better planning, I can keep the fire burning all year and not have to take any extended breaks from training.

As I sit here “resting”, Coach Paulo Sousa’s tweet sticks in my mind “While you’re taking an extended break, rationalizing it anyway it makes you feel comfortable, the race winner is out training.” My take away from this post is not to never take a break when it is needed but rather to train, schedule and race smarter so that extended or forced breaks are simply not necessary. Sometimes it is the right choice to back off but you need to look back at what caused that situation and not rationalize it as “rest is an important part of training.” It is, but that’s not why you are sidelined. You’re sitting on the couch because you did it wrong.

My plan for 2012 is to do it right. Listen more to my coach and not force his hand by racing every weekend.  Rest and recover as it pertains to my schedule and not as a by product of being an idiot. To raise the bar once again and constantly push my limits….

About Dusty Nabor

I'm an Age Group triathlete out of Southern California...
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3 Responses to Fall / Winter Insight

  1. Elliot says:

    Very smart to take some time off.. I have the same personality as you.. it’s always been a “type A, always on the go, never stop” mentality. I’ve finally learned that it’s good to have an “offseason.” It lets you reset and you’ll start the season fresh. Looking foward to seeing you around in 2012. I’m doing Florida 70.3, Boise 70.3 and Vineman 70.3 as my big races next year. Lets get to Vegas. 🙂

    • Dusty Nabor says:

      I’m totally a fan of time off….I’m just not a fan of “forced” time off. Scheduled time off is wonderful! In fact….I think I need a bit more of that to avoid the other.

  2. brianestover says:

    I’m a big fan of my athletes not being idiots!

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