It has been three weeks since my race and I have to be honest: I love working out on my own terms. Luckily, when I’m in training mode, I love having a coach prepare all my workouts for me. It’s the best of both worlds!
Just because I’m not actively training for something doesn’t mean I am a couch potato. I’m not one to sit idle for a lot of reasons:
Nervous energy — I’ve always been a fidgeter
I won’t give up carbs
I sleep better when I’ve done something physical
I won’t give up chocolate
I like to wear sleeveless tops and not have arm jiggle
I won’t give up wine
Being active positively affects the dogs and children I’m frequently around
While it’s easy for me to fall into the known and available disciplines of swim/bike/run, I look at the off-season as an opportunity to expand my fitness horizons. Also, I really don’t want to burn out for next year’s triathlon season! I’m trying to mix up my repertoire to stay fit and healthy (and eat what I want) and here’s what I’ve either been doing or is on the horizon:
I’m doing yoga at least twice a week and up to 4 times if my schedule allows. In addition to my gym membership and a service swap I’m doing with a local yoga instructor (who I LOVE — more about her coming soon), I signed up at YogaDownload.com and they offer a lot of free workouts that are challenging. Note: these are probably better for someone who has been to a few classes to know the asanas and language. I can tell you right now that the 20-minute Core Yoga workout is very effective!
Someone please tell me that all it takes is working out 12-18 minutes a day to look like Zuzana!
Seriously. The workouts that they put together are hard core. For me, it’s a great mental game on both ends because I’m working really hard a la, “This is a great workout! I’m going to look like Zuzana by the weekend!” and I’m working really hard a la, “I’m soooo glad this is only 12 minutes long!”
These workouts tend to be more strength-based (with more weight) than I do during the triathlon season, but it’s also high intensity interval training (HIIT) for a cardio boost. And it’s free!
Tracy Anderson Method
Within the fitness community, there seems to be a love/hate relationship with Tracy and I get it. Greg and I have a running joke (based on her monologue on the Mat Workout video) because she preaches, “Never go over three-pound weights. If you use more than three-pound weights, you’re just going to bulk.” And she goes on about how we don’t want to build those pesky six-pack abs…
I like Tracy for a couple of reasons (and one of them is not her dance cardio, which I have never done). She isn’t lying when she says you’ll be toned like you never have before. Her method for engaging auxiliary muscles works. You have to be consistent about it (at least 4 times a week), but I saw results within two weeks at that level of frequency. I also like her music and queueing. She doesn’t talk through the whole thing, which makes the first few times difficult, but you’re so grateful for it after you know the routine.
I would love to try her new Metamorphosis workout, but I just haven’t wanted to spend the money on it. Has anyone tried it? I usually supplement a Tracy Anderson workout with some kind of cardio. For me, its purpose is toning only.
Of course, I do still swim, bike, and run, but I try to make the outings more leisurely or less results-based. I’ll choose to run errands on my bike, knowing I’ll be stopping and starting a lot. I’ll run with friends who are training for an upcoming race so I’m working on their agenda instead of my own. I’ve even been swimming in open water just because the weather has been so nice! While I’d love to say that I don’t take my Garmin on these outings, I do. I am addicted to the data like I’m addicted to chocolate and carbs — and it isn’t worth giving up in the off-season.
What am I missing? What do you do to stay active when you’re not training for a race or are otherwise burned out by your usual routine?