HUB Life - Triathlon and Endurance Lifestyle

#24 Winter Warriors: Redefining "Off-Season" - HUB's Hurricane Periodization

December 03, 2023 Dr. Marion Herring and Dr. Rob Green
HUB Life - Triathlon and Endurance Lifestyle
#24 Winter Warriors: Redefining "Off-Season" - HUB's Hurricane Periodization
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In Episode #24 Join us, Dr. Moose Herring and Dr. Rob Green, as we share our insights on redefining the "off-season,"  and introduce HUB's innovative Hurricane Periodization. We dive deep into questions surrounding the concept of being "off" and explore whether taking it easy or relentlessly pursuing aggressive goals year-round is truly beneficial. Drawing parallels with the cyclical nature of hurricanes, we examine the importance of adopting a strategic and dynamic approach to training and how it can influence your athletic training and long-term health.


Are you currently weathering the storm with a big build-up of intensity? Perhaps you're emerging from the storm and need to address the aftermath, focusing on repairing and strengthening. Or maybe you find yourself in a phase of clear skies, where you can prioritize less turbulent training to maintain a solid foundation.


Join us for a breakthrough discussion that promises to reshape your perspective on training structure. Discover how embracing the ebb and flow of your athletic journey can lead to improved performance and a more well-rounded approach to your fitness goals. This episode is packed with insights that will empower you to navigate your training landscape with wisdom and precision. Don't miss out on this enlightening conversation that could redefine your entire athletic experience. 


This episode is a testament to our personal battles, victories, and the lessons we've learned along the way as family men, professionals, and lifetime endurance athletes.  Trust us, you don't want to miss out on these tried-and-true insights from seasoned experts in sports medicine and endurance sports. So, strap on your headphones, and let's get started!

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Speaker 1:

Welcome. I'm Dr Moose Herring, Orthopedic Sports Medicine Specialist.

Speaker 2:

I'm Dr Rob Green, Sports Chiropractor, Coach, Trustee Sidekick. We are Lifetime Endurance Athletes. We are Eager Lab Rats.

Speaker 1:

We are Maker of Many Mistakes. We are Family-focused sports medicine docs that are balancing family work and fitness and are enjoying the ride While we are sports medicine professionals. This podcast is not part of our professional responsibilities. No doctor, patient or coach-athlete relationship developed this podcast. We have no financial support from any outside resources. The only support we get is from our fantastic wives that sit back and look at us in complete dismay.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to HubLife. Enjoy the show. All right, welcome back to HubLife. How you doing, moose?

Speaker 1:

Fantastic. Yeah, tough time of year Dark when you go to work, dark when you come home.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the psychology of it all is amazing to me, brutal. Yeah. It's amazing that you get up. It's dark. You come home it's dark and you're like, oh, I'm at work camp.

Speaker 1:

It is so hard when it gets dark at five o'clock.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. If I come home at five and it's dark, I eat, I pretty much go to bed Right. And if it's five o'clock and it gets dark at eight, you get home and you eat, you play outside. It's just totally different, man. Yeah, so my favorite day of the year really is in the spring, when we get that. I know you've lose an hour of sleep, but that extra daylight is just like. I feel like a snake shedding skin. It's a boost. Yeah, dude, it's amazing.

Speaker 1:

This is tough and I think a lot of people, and I think us included, have a hard time in the winter and just because it's dark all the time.

Speaker 2:

So I got trails man, so we're gonna get back, get to the trails. Absolutely, absolutely. You're, you're happy to have a good.

Speaker 1:

Thanksgiving it was good, good, nice family time. It was the first time in a long time we had all three kids in the same house for a short period of time. My oldest had to go back to work, but it was the first time we had everybody together in a long time. It was fantastic.

Speaker 2:

That's cool, man. It's with my girls being younger. It's trying not to take that for granted. They're there, right, they're there and that's the everyday norm, but I can't imagine what's there in school, and maybe one comes home but another one's a way to actually have them all in one place at one time. It's got to be really fun.

Speaker 1:

It's truly bittersweet because we had both grandparents grand father's die this year. My dad loved Thanksgiving so sitting around. Thinking about him was tough, but we're moving forward, doing fine. But sometimes the holidays are good. Sometimes the holidays make you think about things that make you sad, that's the first major holiday, right, so that's the first time where it like start to sink in man, I can't imagine Good deal.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, other news, when we were talking about my bike transport. I still don't know. I mean, I just know some people don't have their bikes and there's a lot of money, money owed, and so I know A lot of money owed and I had thought that Ironman came through and paid for some of it and I think this may be completely wrong, but my understanding.

Speaker 1:

The bikes from Nice and somewhere else were returned, but there was another USAT race in Spain where they were not returned.

Speaker 2:

Oh, so it's.

Speaker 1:

USAT race. Those are the bikes that were still being held.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, gosh, yeah, I haven't read deep into it. I just saw some click lines of like I just saw people didn't have their bikes so I'm like, oh my gosh, I can't. We've used tri-bikes so much and it's a great experience. I think it's great. They must have just caught themselves in a bad spot and I hope they make it out. I hope somehow that service continues because I mean it's a huge value but it seems like it's bad, Bad, bad. So anything else we might be the topic today might be like redefining what we think of as quote unquote, off season, but it feels like off season to me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and before the podcast I always scour race results and look at what people are doing in cross country and marathon running and triathlon.

Speaker 2:

Not much out there, no Holiday time in November to December, and then all of a sudden January hits and we're like, oh boy, I probably should do something. I think I had too many cookies. Now what?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, not much. And what we've got? Race this weekend right, ironman's doing a race at Indian Wells and Mike Dressler's going to be out there representing the hub.

Speaker 1:

He's raised a ton this year. Yeah, man, he loves it.

Speaker 2:

That's amazing. He loves it. He's such a good, he's such a, he's a lifetime fitness guy man. You look at him, he's just a fit guy and he got into the sport of triathlon somewhat recently, has just been like hooked and it's fun because he's like a young, just energetic kid, he's just diving in and you got to kind of try to just try to periodize this stuff a little bit more. But man, it's funny, he gives me so much energy about racing. It's just so cool. So best of luck to you, mike. We'll be with you, man, and chances are after that race he's probably going to find something December to fly Right. But he's so much fun to cheer on he's passionate, so that's, good.

Speaker 1:

But that's about it man.

Speaker 2:

That's it. Not much going on, pretty quiet for the most part. So interesting topic that may evolve, will evolve, because we have covered this and then we're going to save it for on air for the most part. But we were discussing what we think off season is right. I don't know about you, but I kind of had a preconceived notion of what off season is and as you asked a few more questions, it made you think a little bit more critically and you're like well, I think we should bring this on air because I have more. I agree with you a lot, but I'm also confused and I think, as we talk through this together, I think by the end I think we'll have a pretty good, clear vision of what this quote unquote off season is, and maybe we even call it a different name than an off season, because I think everybody probably has heard that and probably has their own definition of it. And then maybe by the end of this podcast, maybe we've kind of altered that a little bit. So off season what do you think when we say off season? So, historically.

Speaker 1:

I mean, if you think about an athlete is in season, that's when they're racing, playing their games, doing their thing, and when they're in the off season they don't have to have structured competition and hopefully they're cleaning up their mess. So we define the season by them competing in the off season, when they're not competing and I'm sure there's some lead up time If it takes you three months to get an Ironman, you would probably consider that in season.

Speaker 2:

And I think of it like that last big race of the year before Thanksgiving or somewhere around there. That sort of like is the traditional off season Right. So but I have issues with that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Because you know, as I have aged, I am less focused on the racing and more focused on fitness, right, so my season is not really defined by two half Ironmans in a full right. My season may be trail season and my short term goal goals are different. I'm having a hard time, me personally, defining my off season.

Speaker 2:

So how do you like? So right, there's trail season, winter time, and so there's different focuses. But isn't there a time when you're even though you're, and you've always been, a lifetime athlete? You've always been somebody who's been really consistent. It's been, we've always talked about. It's about the process, it's not about, you know, just the racing but. But we're super competitive in nature and so we do tend to hyper focus on some key events or some really big stretch goals. Your goals have evolved, so maybe there's less of the like pokey part of your training. There's more of the steady, steady sort of ship, but you don't like right now, like you talked about, like what's your season? Look like this year? Like where, where are you? What do you think of as?

Speaker 1:

So you know, I've been thinking, thinking some since you and I talked about this. I've been thinking some about it and I think you have to define this, this part of your year, this part of your training, as you have finished your last race, or not finished your seasons over, and you're looking for what your new goals are going to be. And right now, I had a terrible end. My season ended with a whiff, not a bang, right, and so I didn't really. I didn't really have a defining point where my season ended yeah, right, and I don't have long-term triathlon goals yet. Yeah, I think they're going to come, but I don't have long-term triathlon. I have set seasonal goals for myself for the for the winter, and that's typically off season, but for me I look at it more as structure versus unstructured, and the winter time for me is structured. Yeah, I mean I ride certain days a week, sometimes I swim, sometimes I row certain days a week and my training focus is trail running because I love it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Right, so we can consider that in off season, you wouldn't?

Speaker 2:

you just call it one. That's what I'm saying I have a hard time defining it.

Speaker 1:

So in I am, and it's just me. I'm less defining my life by those Trathlon races, yeah, and the true season of April, to you know, you know I talk, you know October, but I think for me it's it's long-term health, yeah, and I would say my training in the winter it's just as structured as my training in the summer May not be focused toward Traflon racing. Yeah, it's just a structuring.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, it's. I mean in in full clarity. We had we talked about this before, kind of going live, and it, you know boy, we brought up a lot of things and the whole, the whole initial goal was like, hey, let's talk about all season. Like, what are things in all season? Some people overdo things. Right, they overdo things. Don't over Train in the winter. Right, that's not the time to like smash stuff, but don't intermittent train in the winter. It's not a time. It's not off season. The word isn't it's not off, it is just it's different. And so there's some things like it's a good time, that like, if you're not, you know, burning the candle both, both ends and work and you Swim, bike run and you're more in a Even though you have structure, but the volume is down a little bit, it's now a good time to amp up the strength even more so. So there's sort of these, like these risers that go up and down. That's not totally eliminated, but they have sort of different priorities within it. And you push back really hard on the idea of offseason and and at first I kind of looked at you and I was like a bit resistant to it, but then, as you talk about. I was like, well, I Think you bring up a really good point and maybe instead of calling it off season you know we had come up with the idea of like, well, maybe we call it seasonal fitness, right, right, the different seasons. And who's to say that? Like trail runner, who, maybe the winter time is their peak time, so, and maybe somebody runs, we run more, we do trails in winter time, it's wonderful, and so our run is different than it is when it's like honed into road running stuff. So is that offseason? Well, I kind of think so. I think of it like a, like a football player. They're in season, they've got games and they've got their honed in and everything's got purpose around the game. And then, when the Season's over, maybe they, they have some unstructured time for maybe a month or so to just to kind of get their mental battery back. But while they're not playing football games, they're also training, and they're what are they training? They're training their offseason in preparation for the, for mini camp that then goes into the season. I kind of think of our seasons that way and it's it's not as clean.

Speaker 1:

But instead of it thinking of offseason, I love the idea of seasonal fit, right, it's just different and I like your football analogy, but I'm not going to find my fitness by 10 Saturdays in the fall being at my peak performance. Right, I'm learning to find my. My fitness is lifetime fitness. Can I keep getting stronger? Can I keep getting? Can I improve my swim technique? Can improve my bike technique? Can you know, or can I row?

Speaker 2:

better. So in the right. So in the winter time for us, winter time for our life, and right. Everybody's got their own definition of timeframe or actually where it is. You, you talked about it, and your, your goals are different in this seasonal fitness. Then they would be in June, yeah, so whether you want to call that offseason or you want to call it sees, I think you just like the word off, that's exactly right.

Speaker 1:

I don't like the word off, yeah. Yeah, I think you're exactly right. Yeah, before you said, I just thought about that. I don't like the word off because I think off mentally me. It gives me a cop out. Yeah if I'm off, do I really need to go row? That shit's hard.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I don't need to go, I'm off. Yeah, it's offseason, but or Don't, don't, don't, really need to live now, I'm gonna live. I'm offseason. Yeah where that's probably the most important thing for me right, yeah, yeah don't do I need to work on my, my hip mobility. Absolutely, I'm off. Yeah, I need to work on it, you're right, I mean totally right raise right and I think you're right. It's all it's offseason that gives me, you know, middle out. Yeah, and I don't like a middle out.

Speaker 2:

And I do, I totally agree with you. I mean, what? If there's one thing, consistency is king. When it comes to training, consistency is king in Reality is like how well you race or you perform or you generally stay fit, is is not like a big ten-week block, but like are you consistent throughout the year? Right, and you see that from different athletes that are like hey, the biggest thing that led to these results. I've just been steady, eddie, for the last couple of years. So I totally agree. I mean, I totally agree with you. My side of it is like my first instinct is People think it's a linear line of progression, like they think they just can kind of keep the foot on the gas pedal and then push through. So, like I look at it, like, ah, man, it's, it's not the time to like. It's not the time to like Because you've got a big race coming up in August to be riding super long in January. So, like in that, in that Idea, you're off the gas pedal. When it comes to like accelerating in certain areas, maybe you're doing a row, so that's not a, that's not a correct phrase, because you are pushing it, but you're pushing it with something different. So I think, I think it's complicated, I think it depends on what you're doing and what your focus are and Some key, some key things like you brought up from before, I think it all depends on your goals.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because? Because what you said is exactly right if you have an Ironman in August, that's a big, scary goal, right? And so if your main goal this whole year is to race well in August, then you're doing Different stuff now.

Speaker 2:

So in your winter season as opposed to your off season, right? So I think I mean that's pretty cool, I think it's. It's a little bit of a a shift in sort of the classic way we look at it. We look at all season, then I'm in season and I'm off season. I'm in season in reality is like Offs a pretty aggressive word.

Speaker 1:

It is aggressive. We're in, and a lot of us that are truly addicted to exercise.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Off makes us nervous. We start to twitch a little bit. I can tell you, and you're the same you have to just come off and injure my calf and being off running makes me nervous. Yeah, I start to start to twitch a little bit. And it is funny how you think about it because you know I'll go to the wine, I'll row and I'm sure people watch me row like what the hell is he doing? And somebody's coming out and saying I thought you were in the off season. I am, but I'm working on high heart rate.

Speaker 2:

This is hard and a different movement pattern. I mean, that's the thing that I think you're doing that a lot of people aren't aware of, because, yeah, they don't like the off season, but they continue to pound hard of the same thing that they were doing in their race season.

Speaker 1:

right, but that's defined by your goals, right, yeah, so if my seasonal fitness, if my seasonal fitness for the winter is to build strength, to improve my mobility with stinks, to have some ridiculous row challenge and maybe get run trail fit, you know some goals for my winter seasonal fitness, that's not off. I'm very structured in my goals, yeah, and I'm not at the point in my life where I wanted to find my season as to have some having a full.

Speaker 2:

So let's say we're talking about something like this, say we're not talking, say we're talking about somebody who's got really good like aggressive, really good, really aggressive race performance goals in triathlon. Let's say half Ironman, right, what do you? What do you want them doing in the winter season?

Speaker 1:

Well, I want them to understand what their quote off season means. That is a time between their last fitness challenge and whatever their next race is Right. So you have to define that time Right and during that time you have a great arcade analogy the way you start the off season Right. Yeah but I don't know if it's off season anymore. Well, you have just finished a race. You have destroyed yourself. Yeah, you have seen the devil and the energy and you fill up on a truck and you walk the last couple of miles on it. Right, you're done. Yeah, you're fried Mentally. You need a break. You should not sign up for the rich marathon. Well, what do you want? to call that, then I'm like I'm going to call it some down time, some down time. Before I get into my seasonal, I'm going to call that unstructured, yeah. So if I feel like going out and jogging. I'm going to go out and jog. Yeah, I have to go out and walk, I'm going to walk. That, to me, is unstructured, a recovery block.

Speaker 2:

You got to like an extended recovery block, and then you come into what?

Speaker 1:

Winter seasonal fitness. Winter season, spring season, but it's different, it's different.

Speaker 2:

It's not a linear line of like what you're doing, but it's different. Yeah, no, but that's you. But what I'm saying is like, how about the person who went and said you know what? I'm going back to the energy lab and I'm going to crush it. This time I'm going to work harder this winter. This winter I'm going to work harder. So next October I'm going to be in a great spot.

Speaker 1:

So if you're an athlete from our hemisphere and it's dark all the time, there are some things that you can clean up in the winter. You can look at your strength deficit, you can look at your mobility deficit, you can look at your bike fit. You can look at your swim technique. There's a lot of things you can do.

Speaker 2:

Technique wise, but that's a great. That's great for the off season. What do you want? Winter season?

Speaker 1:

You're not off, you're working on scale.

Speaker 2:

But it's different. Sometimes I see those people that are doing that are that are had their season, they see things that they want to learn from and then they they recover right and they they have that like recovery block that you're talking about and they sort of like they clean up and then they get back to it. They get back to hard, aggressive swim, bike run training and they smash it because they think they need to constantly progress in the winter time and they come out in the summertime and they usually underperform because they're tired.

Speaker 1:

Because they have not assessed their weaknesses. Yep, we all have weaknesses, and they haven't had the courage to gear down a little bit and set different seasonal goals. I don't care who you are, you've got some strength deficits. I don't care who you are, you have some mobility deficits. I don't care who you are, you can always make your swim technique and your running technique and your strength mobility better, right? So your, your seasonal fitness goals should, should not be to be doing your best half marathon Every single I mean, you know your best half Ironman every single Saturday.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that's that's kind of where we're going with it, which is like, whatever you want to call it, right, if you want to call it off season, you want to call it winter season. You know, I I totally respect the idea of like off, because off season and that's what honestly kind of made me think of this podcast when we went into it. Off season, you see, like everything in this world that seems nowadays is polarized. Off season to people means time to like. Like you said, I don't have to go today, it's off season. I don't have to go today, it's off season and it's off form. But then you get the other end of the spectrum and it's off season. It's time for me to like, crush my weaknesses. I'm, I saw my caps last year and I'm going to push it super hard in the winter time. So I'm I'm not such a sissy next year. And neither one of those athletes leads to the outcome that they're looking for, whether they're looking for lifespan and longterm health and fitness or whether they're looking for optimization. They both struggle. So for me, like I look at that, that quote unquote off season. We run into that and that's where I think you, you change the paradigm when you've talked about it. It's a bad name. I don't think it's a great name. I think I think you're you're, you're winter season, right, or maybe you're winter season. Somebody like you brought up a good point of somebody who's training for um Ironman, texas, right, that you're going to be having a build and you are not going to be in winter season, even though you're in winter season if you're building up 16 weeks out from that race. So you know. You brought up, I think, really good three questions to ask yourself right, where have you been Right, where are you right now and where do you want to go? And where are you in the sequence? Are you in a? Are you in a buildup towards a, a, a key goal? Are you in a sort of unstructured time? Or have you made some different goals to like, just vary it up, like in the winter season, it's a great time to do it so that way you can have some fun, you can diversify your movements, you can focus on some weaknesses, you can improve your skills, you can have a row challenge outside the box a little bit. But I think it's important for the athlete whatever you call it, to see that there are different phases or seasons in the macro cycle and the big picture. And the off season man is to me now, as you, as we talked about it, almost seems archaic, and I agree with you on that, and I had no, I created the topic of hey, let's talk about off season, let's talk about like don't overdo it, don't underdo it, and you're like I don't, I don't, I don't like off season. I'm like what do you mean? And I think you bring up some really valid points. So you, if where are you in the, in the focus goals of what you're doing? Is the goal something different? If you don't find that you're changing your goals or you're cycling your training, then I think maybe that's where we go with this, which is like we'll start to think about what, what is, where are you Right? And and what is your big goal? What's your outcome? What are you looking for? Cause they're, they're going to evolve from back in the day, from when you and I were just trying to like hyper focus on Kona and trying to get the Kona and doing races and you know a couple Ironmans a year, to now when we're like you know, life's, life's changed, like we're, we're aging warriors. To a certain extent, we still have drive, but, but our priorities and our, our focus has evolved.

Speaker 1:

And I think that's a great point. So it's clearly okay. It's just clear to me what in season is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Right. So I guess if there's an in season, there needs to be an out. You know, you know an out of season cause we like to race and in the past we need to find our success bar bar, triathlon races and I'm just at a better point now. I'm less focused on that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I think it's smart man and you mentioned earlier and may as good time to bring it up. I love, and I think it matches with this, because I I use this. I use a lot in clinic, um, I use this for athletes as well, in the hurricane purization right. That, to me, just makes so much sense. It helps you, helps people understand the strategy so they know what they are doing right and doing wrong and what windows you should put everything in. But if we think about a hurricane and if you look outside right now and let's say the skies are blue, but but the weather man said a hurricane's coming, what, what are you going to do? It might look great right now, but that makes a little bit nervous. And you go. You know what? I'm going to tie up some loose ends, I'm going to pick up the yard. I'm going to, like, nail down that roof. Maybe I'll board up some windows. I'm going to get prepared because you know it's coming and then, when the storm is here, you're on the inside managing it out. Right, you're not out trying to fix a roof Now, it's too late. You're inside and maybe the window blew down and you boarded it up from the inside. And so you're managing it, you're keeping what you created. And then, when that storm is over, no matter how much you built that foundation, there's always something to clean up, no matter what. Now, if you built it up and you were prepared for it, it's a heck of a lot better than your neighbor who sort of just didn't give a crap. And then, once that storm's over, clean up. And then what do you do? You get ready for the next storm. If it's hurricane season, maybe you got another buildup and to me, like as a triathlete or as an athlete, that buildup is the storm. So it might be a 16 week build for an Ironman, it might be a 10 week build for a 10K, it's not a 40 week build to an Ironman, like that, to me, is sort of silly. So, like, where are you in the hurricane? So you want to. If you know the train plan is coming, it's a time to get your foundation straight, right, get your hip mobility, get your strength, get your skill level up, because once you start in the buildup and you really start to put the miles in, now you've got a lot of damage, you're in the storm. And so here's what I see a lot. I see a lot of people that go well, you know what I'm marathon training and I know strength is super important. So I'm going to marathon train and I'm going to strength train like crazy. And to me I tell patients all the time because they end up hurt in a clinic You're playing out in the yard while the storm is here, right, you're playing in the yard. You're going to get hit by a truck that's blowing in the wind. You're doing too much at the same time. That doesn't mean don't do strength, but it means like the, what you built right, hopefully. You built it and you prepared that foundation. Now don't neglect it. Just do enough to keep your foundation.

Speaker 1:

So what you're saying is in your quote off season, you're building your important foundation with structure.

Speaker 2:

And that's where you know, that's where it's kind of going with it. It depends how many you're not off, but you're in a different cycle.

Speaker 1:

That's the most important cycle.

Speaker 2:

Which one?

Speaker 1:

Building the foundation, building the foundation.

Speaker 2:

It has a. And if you do this as an athlete, here's where I was kind of going with it, because whoever's listening to this and if you follow this, it's different for everybody. Absolutely Right, what is your? Are you in the middle of hurricane season? Right, and for us that might be spring to fall, for a trail person it might be all winter long, but are you in hurricane season? And then once you're out of that build and that's headed up towards an A race, and then maybe you've got a couple of weeks to repair, clean up the yard, restock that foundation, because another storm's coming, and then you're so that that quote unquote off season or that sort of gap is filled with two things. One is filled with some self-care to repair, and the next part is to build yourself up and build that foundation and then get ready for the next build. For us, in winter time right now, if it's sort of a normal season, we may not be pounding the pavement, we may not be swimming, biking, running to the same volume. We're still. We're lifers, we're still swim, bike running. We're not to the same volume. So the the intensity is down, the skies are a little bit more clear. So now's the time to work on our foundation. Now's the time to clean up from the yard and work on the foundation. It's not a time to try to make another storm when there's not even like a necessary focus point for it. And if you do want a storm, why don't you make it a road challenge and make it something different? So you're cycling your training based on whether you've got a lot of series of storms built up. So if there's sort of not hurricane season, it's a wonderful time to really really build your foundation. And if you do that as an athlete, every single time, you you prepare for the storm, you you weather the storm and then you clean up from the storm. And then you were you prepare for the storm and you weather the storm and you clean up from the storm. Every time you layer it like that, to me, you become a more durable athlete, you become a healthier, more durable athlete. And so I think that somewhere in there is your quote, unquote off season and maybe seasonal fitness. Are you in the storm, do you need to clean up from the storm, or are you trying to prepare for the storm? That, to me, is there's sort of three seasons that you're dealing with, so define your purpose and each season or each, each purpose can like. Maybe there's a two week gap of cleanup before the next storm, so, but there needs to be periods and I think I think once a year there should be more time between the next bigger storm that comes in in some self care, clean up from the storm and then prepare and get your foundation ready. So I think of it as like a there's a, there's a, there's three, there's three parts. So even there's four seasons in the weather. We're not talking winter, autumn, you know summer and fall. We're talking well, I think I messed that up Spring, yeah, forget about it, it's all the dark that's here. So think about it in three factors, I think you. You look at it. Are you, are you cleaning up from something you just went through? Did you just get cooked on the surface of the sun, on in the in the energy lab? Or are you ready to build your foundation? Or are you racing? Are you doing something big in the wintertime?

Speaker 1:

But all three of those are super important and we shouldn't label one as off.

Speaker 2:

I agree, I totally agree, cause each one has a significant purpose, but they're they're different weights of what's important, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And just I think it's just me mentally off. Gives me an excuse.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I love that you brought that up because it it shifted my thought process of it to where I'm like. You're right. I mean that makes it binary You're in or you're off. It's not binary, it's not, it is. It is more complicated than that. Yet there is a, even though it's there's no off season, we go well, then somebody's going to take that and run and be like there ain't no off season. Moose told me there ain't no off season. And then they're going to yeah, I'm all in, I'm just going to like. And then they show up there clean, be like. You told me there's no off season. Why do I have four stress fractures?

Speaker 1:

Right, because you burnt the toes so bad on that on that on that side you cook that toe so bad. You cook that steak so bad on one side you never flipped it over and cooked the other side. Yeah, you never worked on your strength and mobility. It was all swim, bike, run.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, your mama said you ain't special.

Speaker 2:

You ain't special.

Speaker 1:

You're going to burn out mentally and physically. So if you finish your last race and mentally you need a break, take an unstructured break.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, people are scared of that, though they're so scared and I would tell you the mental fatigue of the training is harder to recover from than the physical fatigue of it, and people don't really sort of like, don't allow enough room for that part of it.

Speaker 1:

They're so scared to lose their A race fitness?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because they think it's linear. It's not, it's not linear, it's not linear, it gives and I don't know about you, but holistically it makes the season more fun. It makes it less monotonous because there's a different focus depending on which season that you're in. Right, and I would think that arguably, now that we kind of talk about, I think there's sort of three seasons that you're in. You're either in smooth skies, you're either in the storm, in the thick of it, or you're either cleaning up from that last storm and preparing for the next one. And where are you and what's the focus Every stage?

Speaker 1:

has a purpose.

Speaker 2:

It's so important.

Speaker 1:

It's the biggest resource we're going absolutely flies it. Yeah, bills on the last stage and get you ready for the next stage, but I think if you're not billing to your A-rays what we have to find off season in the past, I think there's some crucial points Mentally, take a break, stop worrying about pace and heart rate. Have the courage to lose fitness and if you look at the data out there on loss, also fitness, it is terrible. The reason it's terrible is there's data that says you lose high in power in two months, certain percentage of high in power in two months. You lose endurance and strength in three or four weeks and after that you lose pure endurance. So as the time goes on, you lose more endurance. Those studies are all based on 18 to 20 year old professional cyclists. Guess what professional cyclists? And the way my body reacts to a season is gonna be different in the way a 20 year old cyclist responds to the tour.

Speaker 2:

It goes quicker and it's harder to get back.

Speaker 1:

Different it's different. So there's some good data out there that says if you can be consistent, consistent and you can have several high efforts each week, you lose much less. So in your winter time if you're worried about losing your 10K time, or if you're worried about losing FTP or worried about your half ironman bike time drop in, you can keep kind of that same level if you're consistent and you add in some hard efforts.

Speaker 2:

Yeah yeah, dude, I totally agree, but you do it different than you do it.

Speaker 1:

Then, when you're really trying to put the icing on the cake, man, but if you're defining what those goals are are short, short term, and when we know that short term goals build the longterm goals, and I'll say it, I'll get kicked back. But there's no off season. Yeah, no, you convinced me. I agree with. This Is different, the season is different, but I would argue what I'm doing now is just as important in my longterm health and gonna help me race in the spring and summer, and I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this heart rate.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but that's great, that's absolutely great. I mean, I agree with the fact that it's just not binary, it's not off or it's not all in or all out, sort of thing.

Speaker 1:

I agree as soon as you say off season, those of us that may be driven in a different way or may be not driven the same way. Off means eh, I'm good yeah.

Speaker 2:

I'm off. So the next time I ask you, what season are you in? And you'll be like are you in cleanup, are you in like blue skies? I'll be like dude, I'm in the storm, I'm in the storm. Yeah, I'm all in Totally all in man.

Speaker 1:

I'm working on strength, I'm working on mobility and doing this road challenge. I'm all in.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I mean at the end of the day, like if you just keep it really simple, like listen to your body, know where you are, know that like diversifying things is important.

Speaker 1:

I think that's the key is you can define what the season you're in, but you have to know where you are now and where you want to go yeah, and how much time you want to spend spend getting there yeah, and be truly critical of yourself, what skills or what strength or mobility you need to get there yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, that's the full package, man. I mean it really is, and it just needs to be a little bit different. Not tremendously, but yeah, I guess it's not an off season. Who knew that? Well, I guess I should have known as soon as you say the word off, because I know I'm not going off. I'm not off, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Because I mean we say in the past we have joked, we love the off season because we're trail running. Dude, there's structure to our trail runs. Yeah, we build a little bit every week, we get a little more fiery every week we run trail.

Speaker 2:

That ain't off season and, honestly, we come out in springtime running the best we ever have, because we're just consistent and we're pushing different things. But it's got a little bit of a different focus, your wintertime fitness is different than your springtime fitness yeah totally, man. Yeah, I'm not riding the train for five hours. You know what maybe I'll share with everybody? I have signed up for Ironman Texas twice, in fact. I think I instigated it once and I have raced it zero times. Every time, usually when late January hits, you have to get in the garage and ride the trainer long. I'm like, ah, dude, I'm not doing this?

Speaker 1:

Well, it's because you were basically coming off big falls.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Because every fall we've always raced Ironman, yeah. And if you come out of the fall and you're mentally not prepared for that Ironman build, it doesn't matter whether you're inside or outside. So I would argue with you it's a little bit, it's not the wintertime. You come off a fall Didn't come up.

Speaker 2:

All in Because it's not a linear line man. You've got to create that space and that's why I think a recommendation I have for people is, at least once a year to have a pretty decent gap between the storms, because I think if you're going to do some sort of bigger buildup in a race and you can do it throughout the year but there's times in each individual's different, some people need more, some people need less but I think at least once a year you should have some time with some smooth skies for a while and do enough consistent training to keep what you got. Don't lose it. What do you mean gap? I mean a gap between, like a structured 12 week, 15, 16 week buildup to something I don't think you should be constantly trying to like increase fitness, increase fitness, increase fitness. I think there should be a time when I think it's smoother skies when you're doing maintenance fitness. So it's unstructured. It's not even no, no, it can be structured. I don't mean unstructured, I mean like it doesn't need to be 18 hours a week of training, it can be 12, even though you got a big race coming up months down the line. I think it's maintenance fitness, it's lifetime fitness, it's a lifespan fitness, it's strength, it's mobility, it's cardiovascular right, it's mobility, it's stability, it's all those things, but I think you're not trying to throttle your body.

Speaker 1:

And I'll go one step farther to that. I think we all need unstructured time as well. Yeah, oh yeah yeah, you could finish some A race and you, I mean, and some people need to ride 45 minutes to feel good, so some people need to do nothing to feel good.

Speaker 2:

That's okay and both are the right move.

Speaker 1:

Both are the right move for whatever you think you need. And if you're somebody who needs to ride to be mentally and physically feel right during that time and you say, well, I'm supposed to be on the couch, that's not good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I think there's some tips there too. I think I think you know a lot of times that riding ends up becoming something that's not like a recovery ride. I think you know if you really do need to recover, it needs to be a recovery ride, not like a because people are scared. They're scared of losing fitness.

Speaker 1:

Both gain wisdom there right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, we've done it wrong enough times that way.

Speaker 1:

The courage to run slow when it's that steady or slow it's hard, it is hard, hard.

Speaker 2:

But if you're not doing that and you take a little bit of a trust, fall and you even just say, hey, you know what, for six weeks, maybe that's my challenge. My challenge is gonna be like I'm gonna more times than not, and then do a fitness test afterwards, do a field test afterwards, reward yourself, say you know what, for four weeks I'm gonna take it down and I don't trust this at all. Then I'm gonna do my speed test and I bet you I'm super slow and almost every time we do that somebody runs just as good, if not sometimes even a little bit better, because they're a little bit more rested and you start to get a little bit of buy-in that there is a place for some easier unstructured work, and for some people that's downtime and other people it's just lower intensity. But it's not a time to like say, well, I don't need downtime because they're so psychologically addicted to it, to where they push harder than they need to. I think there needs to be, and for anything other than your long-term heart health, so know where you are.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, know where you wanna go and know how to get there. Yeah, and I'm setting short-term goals and long-term goals, but in my opinion, there is no off-season. There's different seasonal path.

Speaker 2:

And those three, I think, cover it right. Where have you been? Where have you been? What are you in the storm? Are you coming out of it? Are you in smoothies? Where have you been? Where are you now? And then, where do you wanna go and do you wanna push back into it, or do you wanna take some repair time? Do you wanna take some smooth sailing time? I think I view it now as in three sectors. I don't think it's either two. I think you're either like building up and pushing hard towards some sort of A goal. When I say A goal, I say that because you're an A goal now rowing, I mean A goal specific to your defined sport, right? I think we're triathletes so hard, absolutely. So yeah, I don't know, it's complicated isn't it Right, but it's.

Speaker 1:

I think it's super important because we see injuries every day. We see people taking out of the sport every day because they don't change their season. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And that, to me, is why I had a bias towards off season, Because all I see is unseasoned. So my bias from a provider standpoint is like we need to help people with off season because this is the time of year where clinic is full of people still doing what they did when they were trying to push hard. And then I mentioned off seasonally. They didn't even know off season. Like well, it's gotta be called something.

Speaker 1:

So we really don't want you to go away confused about off season on season. But if you can take away several key points in my mind from this whole discussion and you may or may not be mentally wired like I am, we're off makes you have a nervous twitch right. But I think we all know that if we're pushing our limits we're in that hurricane. There's a certain purpose in our training. So we are in that storm roost flying out, trees are falling on. We're basically hanging on for dear life. You could have had us called that in season. Most of us not most of us we are try guys. We like to race. That's our season.

Speaker 2:

I call that. I'm in the build. I'm in the build towards a race.

Speaker 1:

Right, and then after that you gotta clean up the mess in the yard. That's your unstructured figuring out what's wrong. And then the last one is blue sky training, maybe building for the next event. I think you have to understand the purpose of what you're trying to accomplish. So what that means is we all have to know honestly where we are now, what we have been through, how bad the storm was, where we wanna go, what your A race goal is not. Maybe a short term goal like running a 10K. That may be a long term goal like doing Ironman, it doesn't matter. And what you have to do to get there and then use your seasonal fitness to build that foundation to give you a better chance at success.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that sums it up beautifully and I think the takeaway, to keep it really simple too, is realize that there are different seasons. Right, if you look at and reflect on your training and it's very myopic, it's very one sort of focus, and you may look at it and say you know what? I really only ever stay in the storm We'll create some space and create some time to repair from the storm and enjoy some blue skies and then get back into the storm. It's important, I think, to have all three and what that balance looks like for you in different phases in life is different, and that can be from work, that can be from life, it can be from age. But just know that there should be space for all three. And if you don't start to think about it and start to kinda what we think of as hurricane periodization, start to think about how you would structure, put out a spreadsheet with your year by the weeks and start to look at your like we look at training weeks and start to look at like where are my storm blocks, where are my clean up from the mess blocks and where are some of my blue sky, kind of like smooth blocks and hopefully they're not overlapping without having those cycles. I think that was, I think it's a beautiful way to say it, and I'm now gonna change it to seasonal fitness. What's your seasonal fitness? What block are you in? And, like you said, knowing where you are, where you've been, where you wanna go, I think that's the key.

Speaker 1:

And I think, as we talk about this, if you don't have a race in the near future, the point you've made very well, I think, is there are some key things you can look at. It's not all about volume of swim, bike and run and those points you've made overtraining, inconsistent training, lack of strength, ignoring technique and skill development in all three swim, bike, run, neglecting self-care. And now's not the time to be your best self Now. That's not the time to run your best 10K, right. So I think there are key things if it matches your seasonal fitness.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and listen to your body. Don't forget to just listen to the simple communication that your body's giving you. If you're getting less than what you're putting in consistently, then you're not progressing, you're not being the best version of yourself.

Speaker 1:

Lessons from the Knuckleheads this week. Our lessons from Knuckleheads is you should never say I just wanted to test it, see if it was okay. And it's a little bit of a, you know, a pet peeve of mine. And I have athletes, I have surgical patients that come in and we give them a structured timeline to get better. For instance, you have torn your calf and we know that the doctor says physiologically, really for six weeks need some downtime. And then there's a fantastic walk-run program. You can progress and really by two or three months you can be running and training Okay. And what just irks the shit out of me is people came in and said I was feeling awesome and I was in my five one block and I had run 30 minutes at five one and I wanted to test it. So I went out and ran at intervals and it's hurting again. Or I just had my rotator cuff fixed and you're supposed to be in a sling for four weeks, right, and then for the next four week block we can have you take the sling off and move it a little bit. But if you come in at eight weeks and say I just wanted to test it and see if I can lift my hand up over my head Now it's hurting. Don't ever say I just wanted to test it, yeah, yeah, because it ain't gonna go very well. You're not special, you're not, you're not special. So if you're in a timeframe of recovery right, and you understand, the timeframe is 12 weeks Never out of your mouth before that 12 week point. Did you say I just wanted to test it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I laughed so hard in the beginning because I mean, how often do you see that and I get it, I get it, but at the same time that, like pain's a wonderful thing for your body, man, pain is telling you you're going the wrong direction.

Speaker 1:

So now that 12 weeks just got longer because you had to go test it, because you wanted to test it. So if a professional says, don't test it for 12 weeks and eight weeks you test it. Guess what you have now set yourself back, yeah. So if a professional gives you a block of time, don't test it, don't be a knucklehead man words of wisdom.

Speaker 2:

So this one was a fun podcast man. I think. We went in initially honestly on our side too, with one main topic and we probably made a little confusing at first, but it I think it's a little bit of a challenge because we're not going to be able to do it. We probably made a little confusing at first but I think it evolved and I think it evolved to something that was much more accurate for what we view as your seasonal training and I think it's maybe a little bit of a paradigm shift for people and their thought of quote unquote, off season. So I know we made this a little bit confusing but hopefully by the end I think we kind of clarified the fact that, like it's not binary, it's a little bit different than what maybe you think it is. There's no off in it, but there's some puritization hurricane puritization in there, as I like to kind of think about it and knowing where you are, where you've been, where you want to go, and knowing those factors are going to help you maybe apply this to your life and to your training Purpose.

Speaker 1:

Purpose, man, exercise and with purpose.

Speaker 2:

You know what's funny? You say that and I think we bring that up a lot, and even when we meet for rods we'll have a conversation and joking but also serious about it, and always talking about what's the purpose of today's ride, what's the purpose of today's run? As we get older, we're much smarter because we used to meet for our trail runs and just run hard. Today's pace is whoever's feeling good and if we were going to go do a long zone to run, we really sort of couldn't meet with one another because we would never behave, because we weren't in line with our purpose. So before you do a workout, maybe one little extra tip is always just remind yourself what is that purpose, understand the purpose, understand the purpose. So Any other words of wisdom, dr Moose?

Speaker 1:

No, no, I think that was very good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah well, right on, man. Well, welcome to December. Merry Christmas, as Santa would say. Dr Moose would say when you come to a fork in the road.

Speaker 1:

Work on your seasonal fitness.

Speaker 2:

And go uphill, okay.

Winter Challenges and Off-Season Reflections
Understanding the Concept of Off-Season
The Importance of Winter Season Training
The Importance of Seasonal Fitness
Understanding the Concept of Seasonal Fitness
Seasonal Fitness and Training Balances
Purpose and Exercise