The Best Ways to Optimize your Offseason:
How Many Miles Should You Run?
Running is very much part of the off season. The off season just means time off from race-specific workouts and racing for 4-8+ weeks •
👉During the off season, you should aim for 25-50% of your peak training volume after a week or two of NO running post-goal race, depending on how your last training cycle went. If you were plagued with injury and burn out during your last training cycle, you’ll want to dial it back more than a runner who had a stellar season and felt great the entire time
👉You CANNOT maintain peak fitness forever and you can’t continually capitalize on your hard work infinitely. Trying to do so will result in injury and burnout. Your body and mind NEED time off to reset after a big training cycle, regardless of how it went. Training for a goal race, no matter the distance, is TAXING on the body! It requires a lot of mental focus and physical stress. You NEED to give your body (to prevent injury) and your mind (to prevent burnout) a break, or it will take the break for you! 💆
👉OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
✅Running your off season mileage could mean running less days during the week, it could mean running less miles on your typical running days, or both!
✅The 80/20 rule should still be followed during the off season (80% of your mileage should be easy). Hard workouts during the off season are typically less structured and less taxing, so think fartleks!
✅It’s important to remember that the off season will look different for every runner, but the key for everyone is to cut back on intensity and mileage to allow your body and mind to reset and rejuvenate
After a huge training cycle, regardless of how you are feeling, it is important to take time off & allow your body to rest. Rest is critical for recovery not only from the race itself but from the weeks & months of hard effort training. Sometimes athletes bounce back into things too quickly because they feel good or because the race didn’t go as planned. This often feels okay in the moment, but it can backfire in the upcoming months. We know it is hard to rest and take time off, but it is critical.
Elite marathoners take a FULL MONTH OFF after a marathon regardless of race result. It is important to take these breaks to heal both mentally & physically. Absence makes the heart grow founder is true in distance running.
Regardless of how you feel mentally, physically or emotionally the week or 2 after the race, it is important to rest!!
2- PLAN AHEAD
The marathon & half marathons distances can take weeks to recover from. We want to make sure that we allow both enough time for recovery AND building back for our next race. Most marathon and half marathon training cycles take between 4-6 months. We want to give your body at least 1 month of rest between training cycles. This would leave a time frame for your next goal race to be 5-7 months out at the EARLIEST!
If you have done the same distance race back-to-back-to-back-to-back multiple seasons in a row, it might be nice to consider a break from that distance for an additional 4-6 months to focus on another event.
Remember: You cannot continue to capitalize on previous training cycles and continue to see improvement. period.
3- BUILDING YOUR FOUNDATATION
CHECK YOUR MENTAL GAME! Where are you at? What are areas you can improve on in the upcoming year? What were things that got you down during your last training cycle? How can we work during the off season to make things your strong points!
Sometimes in the middle of our training cycles our good habits can start to break and we forget some of the most important foundational part of running
- keeping easy days easy
- strength training
- proper nutrition
- PT (physical therapy) if needed for areas of weaknesses that flared up
- sleep routine
Setting yourself up for success by focusing on the little things can go a long way
4- BUILD YOUR GAME PLAN
RESULTS TAKE TIME! Try to enjoy the journey. Falling in love with the little things along the way. If you are looking for a quick fix or the ways to get faster NOW, we might suggest another sport 😉 Distance running takes time!
Find a training plan, coach or develop your own plan and stick with it! It is important to trust the process and find something that is going to challenge you to take your training to the next level
What sort of comeback stories do you have? We would love to hear from you! For more questions you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org