Are you doing a late season race and/or trying to integrate your training with the responsibilities of the first of the BIG 4th quarter holidays?  

I’ve seen all kinds of tri related articles on how to navigate the snowy holidays but what will you do about the the annual festivities where zombies, witches, princesses & and late nights of handing out candy and dressing up for costume contests threatens your October training plan?  Oh, the scariest part of Halloween for the dedicated performance driven athlete isn’t the onslaught of vampires and creepy costumes.  It’s… Missed rest and missed workouts.  Aaaaaaauuuugh!    How can you engage your inner competitive spirit and WIN the costume contests, wow the neighbors & most importantly get in the rest & recovery or the  training consistency you need?  Worry no more, I have some great ideas for you! 

Oh, you’re going to get invited to the obligatory halloween parties and be forced to dress up or hand out candy all night when what you REALLY need to perform your best in your training is some sleep or a nice long bike ride.  All you need is a brilliant costume with props to revolutionize your training life balance. Here are some proven ideas I have concocted and in some cases personally employed in order to successfully WIN Halloween or costume festivities and then go on to crush late season races with out upsetting  the family & friends.  These sneaky tricks are proven to get you through this wild holiday…

These ideas work well for an costume parties, events, or just passing out candy in the front yard. Your spouse, kids, neighbors, co-workers and friends alike will marvel at your dedicated Halloween enthusiasm for years as you sleep and ride through it with the best costume ever.  

You NEVER want to dress up as a triathlete, a professional cyclist or anything endurance sports related.  Your family and friends will become sick and not from the excessive candy.   Here’s what you do instead.  

Employ one of the two time crunched Halloween tracks depending on your needs.  Skip to the section that applies to your objective and enjoy October sans training nightmares.  You either need…
A.  Extra REST including sleep 
B.  Extra Training time 

A.  SLEEP:  How to snore your way through Halloween and restore your recovering muscles in disguise:

1.  Sleeping Beauty: A beautiful princess costume and you can stay in character all night.  Beware of unwanted Prince Charming wannabes!  

2. Hobo:  This has worked well for me.  Really, I once slept through an entire party, kept all my friends from thinking I’m a party pooper and I made $6.00!  Wear your frumpy comfy wrinkled clothes.  Bring a large box, a blanket, a hat or can with some loose change in it  and a sign that says: Spent Mortgage Money on Bikes.  Crawl in box, sleep all night and make some extra change!  

3.  Snow White theme:  Perfect for a group costume idea.  You can win by dressing up as Snow White with a half bitten apple, a pillow and a nice long nap or even go as Sleepy dwarf.  Your sleeping “for the group” will help the group win the costume contest. Hello, HERO!  

4.  Caveman:  instead of using the box for a hobo costume take some extra time to make it look like a cave. Some paper mâché can help, a fake campfire, a big stick and some rudimentary cave drawings inside the “cave”.  Your kids can be useful in doing this for you as a craft project.  Be a sleeping cave man.  Clever.  
5.  Murder victim:  Grab some chalk and caution tape.  Chalk outlines work well but I recommend doing this on a big piece of paper or cardboard in advance if indoors as no one takes kindly to adults drawing on their flooring.  Lay inside the outline and stay put all night.  Pro tip: draw another outline in the opposite side in case you want to change positions mid party. 

6.  Garfield:  This well known cat is a crowd pleasing contest.  You get to carbo load on some lasagna (staying in charscter of course) then grab an oldie doll, a pillow and crash on the floor all night. Garfield is known to be grumpy so growling if bothered is a legit behavior. 
7.  Alice in Wonderland Theme:   Get the group together on this.  As your friends get all the “good costumes” you can be stuck with the “lame” role as the Mad Hatter tea party’s sleeping little dormer mouse.  Your friends as the Hatter, Alice and Red Queen will consider you to be gracious for taking the boring role.   If you need to bike ride instead of rest, see below for the same theme. 
8.  If you’re in peak fitness you are probably looking your all time best. Take an opportunity to show off the ahem results… The kind not found on athlinks.  Bring a blanket, some sunblock, shades and a big towel or lawn chair.  Wear your string bikini or board shorts and sleep Away the eve as a sunbather. 

B:  So, what if you’ve had enough rest and need to use this Halloween to get in a training session? 

 Easy answer: Incorporate your bike into a costume and ride all night long if you want… guilt free!  You just need a bike as a prop, a bike trainer to keep you in place and an idea! 
Yes, you CAN trick your friends/family and treat yourself to a Fantastic Trainer Ride to maintain your fitness at the mandatory festivities.  If you do a nice long stready state ride this way, your Halloween friends will again be amazed by your unfaltering commitment to their festivity as you get to ride for hours. 

1.  Alice in Wonderland’s late rabbit. Ok, this makes no real sense but it’s cute & proven to work!  I once tricked ALL these people into standing around in heavy costumes while I pretended to be dedicated to the whole bit (setting up early for more hours of riding) and “acted”obsessed with my watch like the white rabbit.  They stood around & I totally got FASTER!  : )

Here I am, “participating” in this costume event behind the tea party.  Hubby’s such a card!  : ) 

2.  Dorothy’s witch.  If you own a tiny dog, you can bring him along for the ride as Toto.  

3. ET:  Phone home for this famous ride.  Everyone will love you because ET is the most popular alien ever! 

4. Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite.  Group costume opportunity.  Bonus: “Vote for Pedro” signs send a message to costume contest judges. 

5.  Bicycle Courier or paper boy:   You can throw fake mail or newspaper rolls at anyone who messes up your focus. 

6.  Pee wee’s big adventure:  Do you dare go there?  

7.  A bicycle police officer:  A cop costume made cooler. “Accidentally” cuff yourself to your bike for added training volume! 

C.  Or here’s an idea: 

8.  DRESS UP YOUR BIKE and be the driver of your bike’s costume:  All you need is a very large box to put around your bike trainer.  You just need some creativity:

Some ideas to get you going: 

Delorian:  Back to the Future style: You can be Marty OR doc riding through time all night. 

Fred Flintstones Flint Mobile!  (Yes, I made the flint-mobile below one year & dressed up as Wilma)  yaba daba doo!

Star Wars Speeder Bike! 

9.  Dress your bike up as a horse!  Awesome trick.  Just get crafty with some cardboard cutouts around the bike and you can be any horse back character you like best!

   – Clint Eastwood

   – Rainbow Brite 

   –  A Canadian Mountie 

   –  A Napoleonic Light Calvary Officer 

   –  Danny or Mel from “Hey Dude”

Happy Halloween.  No excuses!!