Just as it's important to get plenty of rest when you're training or competing, it is very important to wind down the training at the end of the season and do something different.
Taking a break in your schedule is as much psychological as it is physical: it is an opportunity to let injuries heal (yes, you get them in shooting. Just look at the number of people who get physio / osteo after the Imperial Meeting) but also to reflect on the season just completed. It is also the time to start planning your outcome goals for next season, to assess the level of performance you're going to need to reach to achieve them and thereby work out just how much and what kind of training you're going to need to put in. Taking a break will give you closure on the season just past and help you build the motivation to train for the season to begin.
On a more personal level, I've shot two major meetings this year (Trentham and Bisley) and have shot well in both, which is a great relief after a very disappointing 2014 season. Sometimes I worry that I don't know what it is that enables me to shoot well, and the thought of losing my mojo and not being able to get it back can be terrifying. While I have not fired so many rounds as normal, nor have I trained as hard, it feels like it's time to take a bit of a break. I'm going to give my rifles a proper clean, leave the barrels oiled, lock them away in the safe and give the SCATT a rest for a month or two. That way I'll be able to come back to training later in the year, so I'm ready in 2016 to fire good shots and get the wind right.
In the meantime I've got the Queenstown Marathon to run in November. I've slacked off my running training a bit since Rotorua in May and it's time I started upping the mileage again if I want to break the 3:30 barrier. To achieve this, I'll need to build up to at least 45 miles per week (preferably 50) including at least half a dozen runs of 20 miles or more in the two months before the race. Early entry has also just opened for the 2016 Hilary Trail run and I'm seriously tempted to sign up for the 50 mile ultramarathon, but please nobody tell Katrina.
I'll put some posts up when I get around to doing my 2015 review and planning for the 2016 season, but in the meantime I've got a few thoughts to put up about windreading. I'm also massively excited about the 2015 Palma even if I'm not competing this time around. Can GB make it four in a row, or will Team USA do the business on home turf?