Runnin’ in the off-season

You put in the time.

You put in the miles.

You ran a bazillion races throughout the year…

and now your racing season is over.

Now what?

If you are anything like me, you get into a rhythm with running and racing…

and once that rhythm is interrupted, you feel.. well, lost.

The cold season is traditionally a “down” time for training and racing.

In my opinion, it’s definitely not the best time of year to train…

It’s freaking cold and the sun is only out while most of us are at work.

Aside from the occasional Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell Run there really aren’t any races to run…

So what in the heck should you do?

 First and foremost, take some time off!

Every runner should take at least one or two weeks off after their “peak” race (or the race that’s most important to you) and marathon runners should take up to six weeks.

Our bodies and our minds definitely need time to rest and recover after a long season of training.

Second, get active during your downtime and cross-train!

Go for a hike, hit the pool or find an open bike, elliptical or stair master at your local gym.

This is a great way to give the body a much needed break from all of the pavement pounding done during the year.

Lastly, focus on strength training, and stretching!

During the regular season, strength training and stretching can take a back burner in your daily routine, so now is the time to shift your attention back to fundamentals.

Try some yoga, do some squats, or get a foam roller.

Take advantage of this much needed break!

You have earned it.

Remember, if you put in the time and effort now, you will thank yourself next year!



10 thoughts on “Runnin’ in the off-season

  1. fionajarrett says:

    Great post and so relevant to right now for lots of runners. You pretty much just ordered all the thoughts that have been running around my head since finishing my “peak” race in October & made it very simple! Sound advice, thanks 🙂


  2. Wenaissance says:

    One of our biggest races here is in January so there is definitely no down time in SoCal. But I think your advice is spot-on with regard to tapering off the hard training and incorporating cross training. Enjoy!


  3. tamsynsmith says:

    I’m having a couple of weeks ‘off’ – just running when I feel like it with no pressure – but then it’s straight back into cross country here. There doesn’t seem to be an off season for runners in teh UK!


  4. Mark Cumicek says:

    Great post! Champions are made in winter. It’s a time to work on the other things that help you run well… hitting the weights, stretching, yoga. Oh, and it’s a great time to run freely without worrying about anything and doing it only when you feel like it. God bless winter 🙂


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