Don’t overestimate the importance of unplugging.  I am not talking about social media, internet or work disconnection - I am referring to a fitness unplug.

This is for the athletes, gym rats, and fitness addicts constantly pushing their limits day in and day out.  If you train all year round in half marathons, marathons, ultra marathons, half ironmans, full ironmans, sculpting competitions, CrossFit competitions......YOU, my friend, need an off-season. 

A season where you are not tracking your workouts.  You are not concerned about distance, duration, intensity, intervals, repetition, reps, nutrition, heart rate zone, etc.

Every year I take 2-3 months off from my scheduled fitness routine.  It does not mean that I stop working out.  Fuck no.  Talk about torture.  The body was built for movement, just not at that workload and intensity for so many months on repeat. 

In my off-season I still go out for my runs, as that is my favorite way to sweat.  I still teach my spin classes, as I am a crusader of connection and motivation on the bike.  I simply reduce my fitness intensity and workload per week.  I try new workouts that I normally would not have the time to fit into my training schedule.  I increase my yoga and spirituality practices.

Why is taking time off from your regular fitness workout so important?

Your mind. 

Your mind needs this mental break more than your body.  Sure, your body needs it too in order to avoid injury; but your mind will thank you during the on-season, as you will avoid burn-out and you will be able to keep the passion and motivation for when you need #beastmode!

This is not easy for many of us, to reduce our fitness workload and intensity.  I get it; it’s hard letting your fitness level drop during the off-season.  All I have to say is, suck it up little cupcake!  I promise you that in no time, you will be beating the shit out of your body in long workouts and double sweats each day – so much so that you will fucking wish that you had taken some time off.

What to do in the off-season?

Try new workouts.  So far in November and December I have tried CrossFit, Orange Theory, boxing at Gloveworx and Knockout Fitness, Barry’s Bootcamp, Barre, and trail running.  I have to say that, so far, my favorite workouts have been boxing and CrossFit, as they totally unleash my inner athlete making me feel like a total fucking badass.  I mean, during my workout at Gloveworx with my coach Karl, I dreamed of becoming a pro boxer and getting in the ring!

Also, take this time during the off-season to get excited for next year’s races.  Plan your calendar and register for races that make you feel excited, nervous, even scared as they are getting you outside your comfort zone.  Don’t be afraid to try something new as well.  Remember, COURAGE over COMFORT ZONE!

Maybe its time to upgrade on a new distance, or go for a new PR on a shorter distance, or travel to an exotic destination with your race, or it’s time to try something totally new!   

What do you want to achieve next year with your fitness goals?  Make them happen by aligning your heart, your mind, and your actions.  Make 2018 your bitch!

Do YOU, and keep doing epic with your ONE LIFE.  Go do!


Picture taken by Julie Andersen.

Esther Collinetti