After my last course (a Half ironman, on 3rd October) I took couple of weeks pause.
Now, I’m following the 12 weeks off season maintenance plan (coupled with off season premium strength plan). After this, I will take 2 weeks active recovery and then I will start the 22 weeks level 1 Ironman training plan.
For off season, my priority is to raise the level of strength and the FTP. I’m trying to follow the plan to the letter, but, for my surprise, is mentally hard to continue to do super structured training for off season. The volume and the intensity of the plan are not the problem (they are well planned) but is mentally hard to continue to do the workouts day after day.
For the moment I skip the planned workout of the day if I don’t feel in mood, but I’m trying to hit the strength sessions and at least 1 or 2 sessions for the bike and swim.
But, with this “style” of training I fear that I will lose to much fitness. On the other hand, I’m afraid that I will start the ironman plan already mentally burned.
Any idea about how to cope with this problem and still reach my targets for off season?
Any advices and tips will be appreciated!
I have the same issue. It’s hard to train without a specific event in mind. Because an event is both a goal and a deadline, that creates sufficient motivation. Because Maintenance feels less like a goal, and there is often no urgency (no deadline) it’s tough to stay on track.
So, add a goal and deadline to your training. You’ve said FTP is your priority, but I think you should make it specific and targeting a specific date. For example, “raise FTP by 5 watts over 12 weeks.” It’s specific, realistic, and has a deadline, just like an event.
Also, don’t be afraid to start the Maintenance plan over. Unlike just about any other plan, you can do this with the Maintenance plan. Had a really bad 3 weeks? Just reload Week 1 with your new time-specific goal in mind.
What about adding more than just the FTP goal? How about something like an 800-meter personal best? This distance pairs really well with the frequent RAn workouts. Just replace the 2.5 minutes with 800-meter repeats. Something like “800-meters in 2:55 in 10 weeks.”
Between those two goals, it may be enough to get you out of bed.
But, guess what: what if it doesn’t? It’s not the end of the world. Sure, you’ll enter your IM plan in better shape if you stick with the Maintenance plan, but 20 weeks of dedicated training will make up for a lot of missed workouts over the winter.
I also don’t think the Maintenance plan is going to burn you out. It’s just oo low volume.