We all have that time immediately after our last big race of the season where we shut it down and call it our off-season. We take a few weeks off to rest, recover, indulge in some of the things we have been given up for months due to our commitments. I referenced it being called my "cupcake season" a few weeks ago.
There are so many studies and reports that show the benefits of adding weight back on during the off-season. Not to bore you with all the science behind it, but basically by putting weight on forces your body to work harder during training. So when you start to drop weight and get down to "race weight", the body is used to working a little bit harder due to being heavier. As a result, the body recognizes the change and it's more efficient with the lighter weight. The science shows that you should add about 7-10% of your race weight back on. For me, that's about 10-15 pounds. Personally, I cant justify gaining that much weight, but I definitely want to put on about 7-10 pounds back on. Anything more for me is a little too much and I'll start to feel sluggish.
Since my last race I have been trying really hard to put this weight on. But it's sooooo hard. I know that sounds horrible, but it's not as easy to gain weight when I work out as much as I do. During the off-season, we're supposed to rest more, take breaks, not work out as hard or as long so we can give our bodies the necessary recovery we need. I haven't been working out as hard or as long, but I have been working out as often. I'm still running, biking, and swimming at least 6 days a week plus I'm doing more weight work to put the pounds back on and to build the lean muscle mass that I lost this season.
The wife reminds me every day that I need to stop working out. She even yells at me to stop working out. The problem is that I hate NOT working out. I feel horrible, cranky, tired and just like a big blob if I don't. Trust me, you don't want to be around me if I'm not working out. As much as the wife yells at me not to work out, after about a day or 2 of not doing it, she's yelling at me to go AND work out so I can be more enjoyable to be around.
I haven't weigh myself in a while but I can tell that when I look in the mirror I still have a ways to go to put the pounds on. Having the science background that I do, I know that I need to take in 3500 more calories than I use to add just one pound. I just don't think I can do this seeing that I'm still doing a lot of cardio for my workouts.
I'm really looking forward to the holiday season so I can make sure that I take advantage of all the food and drink offerings that are around this time of year. I need to make sure that I take time, smell the roses, or whatever flowers bloom during the winter, and give myself a better off-season. Because come the new year, I have a big race in May that I'm going to need to kick it in high gear for.