The off-season is coming. We spent all year building up for big races this fall. After your goal races it can be a time of recovery for most athletes. We talked a few weeks ago of the post-marathon blues and why it is important to take some time off after a race even if you ‘feel good’, but we are going to continue this conversation chatting more about what an off season is and how to do it
What is an off season?
How long should it last?
Do you still need to work with a coach?
Is having a plan a better way to stay accountable rather than assume you will run when you feel like it?
What is the biggest off season training mistake you see?
How many miles per week should you run?
Should you lift?
Should you cross train?
How long should your long runs be?
How many rest days should you have?
Does everyone need an off season?
Does the offseason have to be right after your goal race?
We have been chatting a lot about race day planning and taper, but we have not yet chatted about the aftermath that may come after you finish the marathon. Many of you have spent the last 3-6 months really building up into great marathon shape. You have spent hours every week doing long runs and workouts. You have made sacrifices, had fun and seen so much improvement. The build up for these races can be exhausting but also an incredible feeling. There is a huge build up for a race that usually lasts 3-5 hours in duration. It is over before we know it. It can often be anti-climatic. That was it. Now it is over. We much address some of the feelings we might experience after a marathon and remember recovery is important!
Have you ever finished a marathon and NOT wanted to take time off?
Do you think some people fall into two categories 1- pumped to take time off and 2- struggles to really take time off
Either super excited to continue to improve because I feel like I didn’t really reach my potential
OR I am scared to lose fitness and don’t think I really pushed myself to the limits
Always needed to grow and build towards something
Pushing other things aside for 6 months→ cleaning the garage, organizing your computer files, yard work, baking, meal prep, friend meet up for coffee, meet up for drinks, oil change, hair done
What do you think is the hardest part for people after a marathon mentally?
Even if you have had a race where you reach your goal and crush it, are you still 100% satisfied?
How do you feel after a race that goes so-so?
What about a race that goes terribly wrong?
Have you ever dived back into training too fast?
Why do you think it is hard for people to take time off?
How much time do you think is enough time to take off?
While this year is quite different with the COVID-19 pandemic, we do know some athletes are still traveling to races! Whether you are traveling this year or another year, we hope these tips are helpful to you! Traveling to a race can be stressful and we want to help ease those nerves 😃
🍽GET DINNER RESERVATIONS/PLAN YOUR MEALS: Whether you have dietary restrictions or just specific food preferences, figure out where you want to eat and get that reservation! Order food that is familiar to you. You will save yourself a lot of trouble if you plan this ahead of time. Some runners will pack all of their own food and eat what they are used to. Whatever it is, plan ahead of time
🏨BOOK YOUR HOTEL EARLY: Whether you are doing a big race in the next few years or a smaller race in a small town this year (more typical right now), do your research on hotels early to figure out what will be best for your situation
🥤STAY HYDRATED: It is really easy to forget proper hydration while traveling. It can be annoying to constantly go to the bathroom while traveling, but make sure you keep with your usual hydration routine, sip throughout the day, and don’t overdo it! If you use electrolytes tabs or powder, pack them in your bag
🧳PACK FOR ANY WEATHER: You just never know. It’s not just about temperature but wind, rain, direct sun as well. Gloves, arm sleeves, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, light jacket. Err on the side of caution and bring more layers just in case! You can certainly go out and buy extra things, but it is nice to just have it packed to take that possibility off your plate
🦶STAY OFF YOUR FEET: This can be hard when you are in a new city and want to do some exploring. Do your best to save that for after the race and rest in your hotel room instead
😷THIS YEAR IN PARTICULAR— STAY SAFE: Take precautions while traveling and racing. Wear your mask, social distance, and use proper hygiene!
We often focus on the workouts & the stress of training. Athletes often want to do more and work harder, but did you know it’s a two sided equation? Stress + Rest = Growth! We need to have the rest portion in order to become better over the long run. When we have a training plan that focuses too much on the stress and not enough on the rest, we often see injury, burnout, and stagnation. This may not come right away, so it is often confusing for runners. Today we will be chatting about how to add more rest to your training
How often do you take rest days now vs when at your peak fitness?
Do you think running every day is good?
How do you know when it becomes too much How long do you think an athlete can go before seeing their running have very negative impacts from not resting enough?
What is a ‘cut back week’ & why is it important?
Do you think most people do cut back weeks? Why not?
What if you feel good? Do you still have to do a cut back week?
Is it important to rest before you feel like you have to?
How does human physiology work when it comes to recovery?
What is the benefit of a rest day over running easy
Should you cross training or strength train on your rest days?
When should you take your weekly rest days?
What if you are scared to take a rest day or are on a run streak?
We are often asked what workouts are best or what is the best weekly mileage to run. The answer is simple: use the progressive overload principle! What is that? The idea that you are starting where you are at with mileage and workouts then slowly building micro stress over a period of time to lead your body to have specific adaptations. Each training plan should be different because each athlete has a unique starting point. You need to assess your background and goals before you jump into training training plan
Have you ever jumped into a training plan because you liked the way it looked because it looked super hard? What happened?
Have you ever been given a training plan that looked pretty basic/boring but been amazing at how much improvement you had?
Why does the progressive overload principle work on our bodies?
Why is it a bad idea to jump all in on a super challenging training plan?
Will you see results from massive overload?
What will happen overtime from progressive approach vs a massive overload?
When people refer to training smarter not harder is this apart of this approach?
Stress variables in training & how to balance them When developing a plan it is important to keep in mind the variables of stress at play. There is an art to building a training plan for each athlete. It is like a puzzle you must solve. You cannot have too much stress, but you want to stress the right variables at the right time to lead to a specific outcome. The variables at play are long runs, mileage, workouts, racing, and so many more. In addition to the training stress variables each athlete also has different life stressors that will impact their training cycle like work, school, kids, health issues. Today we are doing a deep dive into the stress variables and advice for getting the most out of your training
How do you assess an athlete’s stress variables when they first start training?
How much stress can you add on a new athlete at once?
Should you increase more than one variable at a time?
Does your background in the sport play a difference?
New vs experienced runner?
How often do you increase the stress variables?
What is the most important one?
Are there sometimes you break rules like the 10% mileage increase? Why?
If someone misses a workout, does it impact the rest of the training stress for the week?
How do you manage missing days? How do you balance the stress variables in training with the life stress athletes may have?
Long runs, mileage, workouts: what are the more important ones when you first develop an athletes plan for a marathon?
Running is an aerobic sport. Any athlete who has a previous background in aerobic sports like distance swimming, biking, or soccer will have an aerobic base already established more than someone who was inactive. Speed and endurance are two pieces to the distance running puzzle. Some athletes can crush out a super fast mile time but then struggle with longer distance events like the half marathon or full marathon. Today we will be chatting about training specifically to gain endurance and carry your speed across a longer distance
Are people who have been running or playing sports for longer at an advantage when it comes to training for longer distance running?
How long does it typically take to build up to the half marathon distance?
How long does it typically take to build up to the full marathon distance?
Do you think it may take longer if someone tries to go ‘race pace’ on their long runs?
What if it feels weird to slow down?
What are your tips for slowing down on your easy/long runs and not losing your mind?
What are the best workouts for someone who is trying to build endurance?
What would the ideal athlete week of training look like for someone who is building into a half marathon training cycle How do you know you are training at the right paces?
How do you learn how to trust the process?
How long does it take to full develop your aerobic abilities? Is mileage building important?
Easy running is difficult for many runners to grasp the concept. Running 2-3 min per mile slower than your 5k race pace can feel very ‘slow’ for runners. It is hard to trust that slowing down is the best way to get faster. There is always an equation of stress + rest = growth. Easy running targets the aerobic system which is the system we want to improve on because it is what is used during 99.9% of the marathon race. We want to make sure we stress the right systems to improve.
What if your HR is not high?
What if HR is lower on easy days?
Tapering or in recovery can I go faster?
How many miles per week do elite runners typically run What pace are the bulk of their miles ran at in comparison to their marathon pace?
Why is it important to not run too fast on your easy days?
What if your marathon pace feels easy?
How come it feels like anything from Threshold to recovery pace is ‘easy’?
Do you think people often think anything that isn’t using the anaerobic zone is easy?
How can you calculate your easy zone?
Is there such a thing as going too slow on your easy days?
How can you ensure you are going slow enough?
How often do you see this as something that holds athletes back from reaching their potential?
Spring is here! But this year is weird! Almost all races have been cancelled. Your training plans may have been derailed. Many parents have had to switch their schedules with schools being out of school. Our lives have had to change a lot in these past few weeks, and sometimes that means our training changes too. Today we are chatting about ways to stay fit and continue to stay motivated to exercise during this time of change
Transitioning Back to Outdoor Running Spring is here! It is that amazing time of year where the days are getting longer, the sun is starting to shine, the snow is starting to melt, and the temperatures are rising just enough where we start to venture off our treadmills onto the roads again. Some athletes in the upper north will spend 2-4 months running 80% of their runs on the treadmill! We chatted earlier in the winter about the pros/cons of running on the treadmill. The biggest factor at play is that treadmill running is different than outside running. Making the transition to outdoor running again can be a tricky time for athletes, and we want to make sure we do it gradually to avoid injury.
How is the stride/gait on the treadmill different from on the road?
How should someone start the transition back into running more outside?
What is the best way to gradually transition off the treadmill?
What should someone do to ensure they don’t get injured outside?
If something feels off or harder – what should you do?
How long does it usually take to fully transition back to 100% outside running?
Will it feel harder outside running for some people?
Will the find/elements be a factor for awhile?
Any advice for people who will be racing shortly after making this transition?