Around seven days after an Ironman the feeling returns to my legs and suddenly I'm pumped thinking about the next race. I get the urge to jump back into normal training asap (thinking that I don't need the recovery), but I know I'm wrong. After every Ironman it takes a conscious effort to resist the urge to do anything too strenuous too soon. Five weeks after Kona, I'm now back into winter training, which consists of building run durability and endurance through increased frequency and mileage; increasing FTP (functional threshold power) on the bike through intervals; and improving swim technique with drills.
The non race specific training period will be a little shorter this winter, as I'll be racing an early season Ironman in South Africa in April. In the past, all my Ironman races have been in July, so adjusting to this early race date will require some changes to the normal training plan. Every year I get a better understanding of which sessions work for me as an athlete, and which sessions are best suited to addressing my weaknesses. Having reflected on what has been a breakthrough season, I look forward to putting the plans in motion to continue to improve and to hopefully have a great 2011 season.