Ed. Note: what did you do with YOUR offseason? Our early-season posts will focus on our pros and how they took their downtime after their seasons. This week Josh Amberger lets us know what he spent five weeks doing between seasons, and how he knows when to start back up again.

If you took time completely off, how much did you take?

Five weeks. It wasn't planned to be five, but it kind of happened that way. I spent two of those at home, one week on a remote camping holiday, and then the next two in the US on a half-holiday-half-sponsor-obligations gig. 

What did you get up to during your off-season?

Getting about my hobbies a little more seriously. A little bit of adventure in the 4wd, a bit of music, reading, coffee, beer, and gardening. Probably some bike building and tinkering thrown in the mix too, with the odd easy CX or MTB ride. I was in Bend in my break trying out snowboarding for the first time. Growing up nowhere near the snow and on an endless Summer, it's not something that's been presented to me often, so I jumped at the chance to do a bit of it this offseason! 

What off-season traditions and activities or places do you look forward to each year?

Every year, I pack up the 4wd with Ashleigh and head off to a one of the sand island camping destinations we have here in Queensland, Australia. No power, no showers, no reception, it forces you to switch off, relax and get back under the stars & in touch with nature. Something generally always goes wrong (snapping fishing rods, getting bogged, roof racks collapsing on my car etc.), but it's always a blissful week and one to recharge the batteries. 

Any food/drink/activities you allow yourself that you don't allow yourself during the rest of the year?

Not really. I tend to enjoy myself for 12 months a year!

Any habits of mind or reflections or planning that you do for the new year?

I tend not to force this kind of internal discussion, but instead let the reflection and self-evaluation come organically. When it does, I'll process it and plan for the following year accordingly. 

How do you go about setting your schedule for the coming season?

It's not too difficult for me. I generally have some sort of fleshed out idea of what I want to do for the following year—I often have a rough idea about halfway into the current season. Being an Aussie, I have always travelled a lot: North America, Europe, Asia. I want to do big races, but still have a mixture of smaller events and personal favorites. This year I'm looking towards Challenge Roth for the first time, while possibly hitting Ironman Australia or Ironman St. George, with a good mixture of halves thrown in. Of course, Kona will be the big end of year goal. 

How do you know when you're ready to begin training again?

When I get bored!