Off Season Survival, Come back Strong!

So you have raced your heart out, burned so many calories each week that you never had to watch your intake, and even when you cheated you could get away with it because the heat training always burned it off before it could turn into a bigger belly. So now the season is starting to end, slow down, or switch directions. Either way it means you have to make adjustments to your caloric intake, be prepared to make it through the holidays without gaining a million pounds, and more than anything work towards the big goals that you have for race season next year. This is the key, “working towards next year”. You have to start executing a plan now if you want to reap the rewards when the next season emerges. Time goes by so quickly that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Mardi Gras (for my peeps down here in New Orleans) will fly by and before you know it you’ll be wondering why you wasted time, gained weight, lost fitness, and missed the opportunity to come back from winter a stronger and more fit person.
First of all, we all need some time off to relax, enjoy our family, and let the mind and body completely rebuild from the hard effort that was put into your race season. Take a couple of weeks completely off from swimming, biking, and running but still take time to walk and enjoy the fresh air and nature. Keeping some time on your feet during your break will be the key to burn off a little nervous energy and also lower your stress level and anxiety from not working out (since you are so used to it being a part of your life). Take naps, get a massage, treat yourself to things that you skip during the off season like a movie, stay up late to veg out and watch your favorite shows, and lay in your PJ’s past 9am when you would normally be riding 50/100 miles at 6am on a Saturday morning. During this period you can eat a little more too. Don’t lose your head, but take some liberties and have a little extra if you want it.
So you take your couple weeks off and you feel great, ate good, rested a lot, and now you are ready to build a bigger better you for next season. What’s next? What’s the plan Coach RunDustin?
  1. Core Work: Yup, do it a lot and do it often. It’s time to get serious about core strength if your goal is to be a better swimmer, cyclist, and runner. Core work will improve every single aspect of daily life and racing.
  2. Cycling Base Fitness: I will spend 1 hour on the bike trainer every night watching TV, mostly heart rate training at lower levels in the off season, but will also throw in some interval sessions to get the heart rate up and the intensity flowing.
  3. Running Base Fitness: Trail Running! Yes, take it to the woods and run! It’s fun, it’s cold, it’s nature, and it’s even better when you add friends. Adventure + running is a great off season mind and body building workout.
  4. Carefully watch your nutrition and intake: Eat well, but eat GOOD! If you pack on some extra pounds during the winter make sure it’s muscle, not fat! Get serious about your food and measure caloric intake and figure out how much you really need to be eating. Become a scientist of your own body and really take hold of your food consumption and become accountable for your own actions.
  5. Create your race plans for next season: It’s tough to do all of this off season work and discipline without goals to visualize during your workouts and your daily daydreaming sessions. Grab a calendar, Google some races, and start building your perfect race season and then start visualizing YOU executing that perfect race season.
Put all of this together and I promise you will start your race season in top shape, physically and mentally. There is nothing like starting a race season with a justified sense of confidence because you really put together a great off season. Thanks for reading this #TeamNaturade article and remember that if you need Coach RunDustin at any time just join me on twitter, facebook, or instagram for questions or coaching, it’s free and I’ll be your #1 fan!
Cheers and Happy Training!


dustin-hinton-and-sonI’m Dustin, and this is my son Boston… First, I’m a dad before anything else, after that I’m a 31 year old vegan expatriate Hoosier living right outside of New Orleans, LA.

On June 12th, 2011 I had a bit of a wake up call and began my road to the ironman 140.6 mile endurance event and after that I’ve got some big plans, so it won’t end there… This is my outlet to vent, rant, promote, and let everyone know what’s up.

You can connect, ask questions, or get tips from me at, @DustinHinton (twitter), @RunDustin (Instagram), or Cheers!

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