Autumn. The leaves are falling, the days getting shorter, the season is changing. October is here, and my thoughts at this time of the year always turn towards fitness and motivation.
For many triathletes and open water swimmers here in the northern hemisphere, this is the start of our “off season.”
For some people this means taking time COMPLETELY off. Particularly for athletes who have had a particularly hard schedule of races and training, time off enables the body to heal – and the mind. For years, I used October as my “Off-tober” – the time of the year when I took my foot off the training gas and took a break from a structured training schedule to just enjoy doing what I wanted, when I wanted.
For me, when I took the time away from structured training plans, I gave myself the space to rediscover my mojo. Stepping back from the grind of hitting planned workouts helped me to rekindle the spark that kept me training hard and seeking continuous personal improvement through physical activity.
But what if, like me, your plans for the 2016 didn’t exactly happen like you wanted them to? Or what if you have already taken the break from structured training and scheduled workouts with the start of the school year, and you are now ready to get back to a good fitness routine?
October is a great time to flip the fitness switch on – “On-tober.” Now that the post-summertime routines are pretty established, it’s easier to know what will or won’t fit into your schedule when it comes to making time for fitness. It’s also a great time of the year to fix good habits in place – in advance of the holiday season which seems to kick in earlier each year!
This year I am using October as my “On-tober”. With the cancellation of my big open water swim event in June and my husband’s hip fracture in mid-August and the radical change to home routines since then, my focus has been away from structured training for some time now. Although it has been nice to have a break from the pressure of training and racing – for the first time in seven years – I am looking forward to rediscovering my fit-self. Establishing a good routine, building my strength and fitness back, and trying new things out too.
Time to flip the switch. For an Off-tober or On-tober. Which will you choose?