Over the last 12 months, when was your peak? When was your A++++ race? Did they coincide?
My peak was either at two points this past season. Around July 4th, or around August 1st, so let's just lump those two dates together and say the month of July.
My A+++++ race of the season was August 22nd. So I basically peaked about a month too soon.
I knew I peaked in July because I could have thrown the kitchen sink at myself that month and not felt a thing. I was knocking 60 mile rides out of the park and running 13.1 mile training runs and feeling like I had just done a 10K training run. My swimming was at its fastest. I felt great and my body would recover from workouts in less than 24 hours. I felt like superman!!!
I lost that peak in the beginning of August but held enough of it to knock my A++++ race, Timberman, out of the park. Revenge was made on that race; I was happy; I met my #1 goal of the season; CASE CLOSED.
Then injuries knocked ME out of the park, and my "form" declined.
It felt like somebody died. I could no longer run a 10K training run, let alone a 5 miler and feel like $50. I felt like 2 cents. On the bike I felt like I was riding on a flat tire. Why was my speed so sluggish?
I had to let go. My form of 2010 was gone. I used it all up.
Mentally I had a panic attack: "I need to maintain this form! How the heck am I ever going to do Lake Placid if I can't ride a 56 miler in less than 3 hours let alone run a 13.1 miler for fun. How the heck am I going to double that distance? I am so screwed!!!!"
Then the calming side of my brain interrupted and said, "You have been out of shape before. In fact 12 months ago you were in the same position. After taking off 2 weeks from running an easy 3 miler felt more like a Half Marathon. But remember how you bounced back 3 months later and the rest is history?"
In other words, its OKAY to get out of shape during your off season. I think of it as all of that stress from this past season is just marinating inside my muscles ready to explode in 2011.
Enjoy your offseason! Drink a beer; eat a huge bowl of ice cream; stay up late; sleep in; call in sick @ work. You aren't a professional triathlete, so enjoy life!