Today in the mail, I received my rejection from the JFK 50 Mile Run. Participation in this event is by lottery. Having a passing interest in doing an ultra, I applied for this event. I figured if I got into this event late November event, I would pick a 50K race sometime in October as a step up to JFK. Coming off Vineman 10 days ago, however, I was not looking forward to stepping up longer runs for the next several months. It's hard to do long runs in South Florida in the months of August, September and October. I keep relearning that lesson every time I schedule a fall marathon. This lesson was reinforced in training for Ironman Arizona last November. However, I decided to apply for JFK and let fate decide. I'm kind of relieved by the rejection.
I realize that I need to have an off-season to allow my body to cycle down on training before cycling back up for another season. Thus, I've given serious thought to blocking certain times of year for recovery, base training, and then events. Given my local climate, the best time for marathon and half marathon running is in the winter and early spring. Triathlon season tends to get going in March. You can train to go long through about June, so July is about the latest I should schedule an Ironman or Half Ironman event. Therefore, I'm going to use late April or early May as my cutoff for marathons, and July as my cutoff for long triathlons. That will give me August, September and October to do other things that South Florida has to offer: swimming, diving and fishing. I'll use the fall to ramp back up for the winter marathon season and transition over to triathlon training in the spring.
My buddy Tony, who did Vineman with me, was eager to sign up for a sprint triathlon this weekend. For me, I just want to roll back on the intensity of training and not compete at the sprint distance. I've still got Miami 70.3 on the books for October 30th, so I've still got to train for endurance in the fall (at least this year). Thus, I'll still train, but more to maintain general conditioning for the next 4 to 6 weeks. I start back training more seriously in mid September.
Anyway, that's my new way of thinking. I've been at these long endurance events pretty much straight throughout the year since the summer of 2002. Maybe this new cyclical/seasonal approach is a sign of me getting older and wanting a break from continuous training. Perhaps it means I getting wiser. I've always heard about periodization in training. Let's see if it works.
Since I use this blog primarily for training entries, I'll post less frequently, if at all, for the next 6 weeks. I'll still check out my fellow bloggers now and then, but you may not need to check in with my blog until mid September or so. Enjoy the rest of your summer. I plan on enjoying mine.