Outseason. It’s the name for the time period of training spent building Fast before Far. In other words, punishment. Punishment in the form of frequent trips to zones 4 and 5. I have a friend who is a cycling instructor. I affectionately call her The Devil’s Spawn. She cleverly assimilates zones 4 and 5 to going to your in-laws; you know you gotta go but you’re happy you don’t have to stay. Of course, not my in-laws. I love them. Anyway. Punishment. It’s what being served up in the Paincave for 14 weeks. The great part about the philosophy behind my training program is that it’s based on rate of return. The idea is for you to receive the maximum benefit from the Punishment in a time frame that is life-friendly. In a year where you are training for Ironman this becomes very important so that one does not burn out and more importantly, your family does not burn out. The program doesn’t require swimming (no tears there) until you are finished with the Outseason (unless you have an early spring race), so this free’s up a couple of days for recovery. This year I am going to try to throw in Yoga X and Core Synergistics from The P90X program on the recovery days. Today called for Yoga and my uncommon joy came in the form of noticing big fluffy white snow flakes out my window just as I was cussing out Tony Horton for making me suffer through his twisting half moon. Fluffy flakes in the south are a rarity and a reminder that God can surprise you anytime. Even in a punishing twisting half moon.