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?

76. Post- racing blues & recovery

Episode 76. Marathon recovery & blues: LISTEN HERE

Building up to race day can be exhausting and also super exciting! There is so much excitement during the taper, the morning of the race, and while you are racing. It is over before you know it! It can be hard to flip that switch from marathon excitement to having to rest completely for a week or two. Despite how unnatural that screeching halt can feel, it is INCREDIBLY important to do so no matter how the race played out!

✅REPLACE RUNNING WITH OTHER THINGS: Post-marathon blues are SO real! Many people have feelings of lethargy and sadness after the hype of a marathon wears off. Now is the time to focus on some things you may have neglected during marathon training. You may spend your extra time meal prepping, doing yoga, hanging out with friends, doing projects around the house, etc. Have a plan so you don’t go crazy when it’s post-marathon time!

✅AVOID BURNOUT: Just like with a job, you need to have work/life balance and take some time off every now and again. If you don’t, you will gradually resent your job because you have not taken any time away from it. The same goes for running! Absence makes the heart grow fonder. If you take the necessary time off after a marathon, you will come back READY to tackle more miles with a new goal in mind for your next training cycle.

✅AVOID INJURY: After that 1-2 week break, it is important to reverse taper and not dive right back into your peak training mileage. A gradual build back up, focusing on effort is super important to avoid injury

✅FOCUS ON THE LITTLE THINGS: Becoming a good runner is much more than just running the miles and hitting the workout paces. You have to think about your nutrition, your mental training and personal growth, your strength training and injury prevention routine as well.

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?

Traveling To Fall Races


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!

Cutback Weeks: Why You Need Them & What They Are

EPISODE 43 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/43-cutback-weeks-why-you-need-them-what-they-are/id1446735036

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?

How long will it take to lose your fitness?


👇First of all, let’s DEFINE a cutback week and a rest day:👇

💥Cutback week: A 20-30% reduction in mileage every 3-6 weeks

💥Rest day: A full day off of running and any cross training activities. You can still be active! Going for a walk, taking a low intensity yoga class, stretching, and foam rolling are all activities that you can participate in on a rest day

🤕Overuse injury prevention: Many running-related injuries are due to overuse, otherwise known as under-recovery. Rest days and cutback weeks allows your bones, connective tissue, muscles, and nerves to repair from the running stress •
🧠Mental burnout prevention: Running is a GRIND! It can become so much of a routine that we don’t want to get out there anymore. We can prevent that with rest days/cutback weeks by creating a mental desire to get back out there. It’s just like the old saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”

🤒Physical burnout prevention: During training, microtears happen in your muscles which creates an inflammatory response. This inflammation requires your immune system to repair the damage done. Doing too much without recovery takes a big toll on your immune system! Overworking your body can lead to stagnation and even decreases in performance

🔋Restore glycogen storage: Running for longer than 90 minutes dips into our glycogen stores. Doing multiple 90+ minute runs week after week will continue to dip into those glycogen stores. When these run out, your body uses your muscle as fuel which we do NOT want. A cutback week/rest day allows your body to more easily refill those glycogen stores for the next time you run over 90 minutes

😴Promote more restful sleep: When in a build period, your body is actually going through a period of ‘stress’. As a reaction to this stress, the body produces adrenaline and cortisol. These stress hormones can lead to interrupted sleep cycles. Decreasing the stress load gives our bodies a chance to destress and relax. This leads to more restful sleep!

Progressive Overload: The Best Way To Improve

EPISODE 44 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/44-progressive-overload-the-best-way-to-improve/id1446735036

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?


The gradual increase of load or stress placed on the body 📈

👉The most common rule of thumb is to not increase mileage more than 10% each week. Intensity should be added gradually as well! Another important piece of the progressive overload principle is starting where your fitness is at currently, not where you WANT it to be❗️If your most recent long run was 7 miles, you should ❌NOT❌ jump up to a 12 mile long run the the following week

👉Physiologically, your body CAN handle jumping from 20 miles one week to 40 miles the next. You could handle this for a few weeks, or maybe even a few months, but your body will eventually break down in the form of injury or burnout. The BEST way to improve as a runner is to stay consistent, and you cannot stay consistent if you are injured or burned out. You need to run the amount of mileage that is most beneficial for YOU 👍

👉Look at your last few months of training to figure out how many miles per week you’ve been running and how long your longest run has been. Then ask yourself if you felt good from day to day and if you were recovering from your hard workouts on that amount of mileage🏃‍♀️

👉It’s true that you can’t just keep progressing your mileage to infinity. It’s not appropriate for most runners to keep increasing until you hit 100 miles per week. If you’ve been following the progressive overload principle for awhile and feel like your race times have stagnated, it’s time to focus on the little things in training! Look at your sleep, nutrition, and drinking habits. Where could you improve? It’s also important to keep focusing on consistency! Any race from the 5k to the marathon requires a big aerobic base, which can only be improved by continuing running with SMART training that is backed by the progressive overload principle

Managing Training Stress Variables: Long Runs, Mileage, & Workouts

EPISODE 45 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/45-managing-training-stress-variables-long-runs-mileage/id1446735036

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?


Training stress variables need to be managed appropriately in a training plan. ❌Adding workouts, mileage, and long runs at the same time is a recipe for disaster!❌ This looks different for every single athlete, but the general guidelines remain the same

👇Check out how training stress variables should be managed👇
✅MILEAGE: Mileage should be the first training variable that is changed when beginning a training plan. If you have consistently been running 10 miles/week, it would NOT be appropriately to start a training plan at 30 miles/week. You HAVE to meet yourself where you’re actually at, not where you want to be at. Mileage should be increased SLOWLY, no more than 10% each week

✅LONG RUNS: Long runs should be the second variable to increase. How the long runs progress depends on how much time you have before your goal race

WORKOUTS: Workouts should be the ✅third variable to tinker with. Shorter, simpler workouts are appropriate when mileage and long runs are increasing, but you shouldn’t be doing big tempo workouts if you don’t have a solid base first

👇Other considerations👇
✅RACING: How much are you racing? Running several many marathons in a year is a HUGE stress

✅LIFESTYLE: Is your job physically demanding? Do you have kids? Running does NOT happen in a vacuum. Make sure you (and your coach, if you have one!) consider your life outside of running as it relates to your training load

⭐️Even if two runners have the same goal race and goal time, they will NOT have the same training plan, especially as training progresses. Everyone responds to stress differently and everyone has different life stressors that happen. Manage YOUR specific stress to stay injury-free and keep running happily!⭐️

How To Gain Endurance

EPISODE 46 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/46-how-to-gain-endurance/id1446735036

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?


Speed and endurance are the two puzzle pieces 🧩 in running. It’s common for runners to be able to run a half mile or a mile at a fast pace, but they can’t sustain any sort of speed over longer distances from the 5k-marathon.❓So how do you translate your natural speed/fitness to longer distances❓

💥Speed is RELATIVE. If you can run a 10 min/mile but you can’t make it through three miles without stopping, then you have speed that needs to be translated into endurance with proper training! Just because it’s not a 5 min/mile doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from these training principles💥

✅HISTORY: Growing up playing sports like soccer and basketball will ALL contribute to your fitness level as an adult. Your body doesn’t forget the aerobic fitness you have built up over the years and it will affect your “starting point” as a runner

✅CONSISTENCY OVER THE YEARS: How consistent have you been over those years? Did you run track and cross country in high school but then didn’t run over the summer or winter? These little things matter!

✅GENETICS: Slow twitch dominant athletes won’t have as much trouble sustaining paces for long periods of time in comparison to fast twitch dominant athletes (a lot of people are an even mixture of both)

✅FOCUS ON LONG RUNS: The long run builds endurance through the growth of mitochondria and teaching your body to burn fat efficiently. This is CRUCIAL for endurance events

✅FOCUS ON TEMPO RUNS: Threshold, marathon, & half marathon tempo runs are KEY to improving your endurance as well. These types of runs improve your lactate threshold to help you run faster for longer and help you practice race paces too

✅CONSISTENCY: The great thing about endurance training (5k-ultramarathon) is that you can continually improve with consistency unlike training for a .5-1 mile, where you will hit your genetic limit pretty quickly. There are genetic limits for endurance events too, but most people don’t come close to it because they don’t remain consistent over the years

Easy Running: How it Makes You Faster

EPISODE 47 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/47-easy-running-how-it-makes-you-faster/id1446735036

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?


✅STRESS + REST = GROWTH: The 5k distance and up are AEROBIC events. You want to STRESS the aerobic system for GROWTH in the aerobic system. The aerobic system is stressed at EASY PACE!

✅INCREASED CAPILLARY DENSITY: With increased capillary density, there are ways for the blood to make it to your muscles to aid when muscles get fatigued. Your body makes more capillaries as an adaptation to running more easy miles

✅MITOCHONDRIAL GROWTH: Low-intensity training helps the growth of mitochondria (your cells’ powerhouse), which helps the body burn fat efficiently which is needed in long distance events

✅RECOVERY: Running at easy pace helps facilitate blood flow to muscles that need repair after a hard workout (fast running). It helps speed up the recovery process if done correctly. When your heart is working too hard, it actually puts more stress on your body and hinders the healing process. When your body is not able to recover between “fast” running days, it can lead to burn out or injury!

👉It should feel like a 4-5/10 on an effort scale. It might feel a little weird, almost like a walk. You shouldn’t have to focus on keeping any sort of pace. You should end the run feeling like you could go a lot longer. Oftentimes “conversation pace” is a misnomer because many runners can talk at threshold pace

👉You can use a VDOT Calculator online by plugging in a recent race time, no longer than 6 months ago. It’s better to use a 5k time to predict a longer distance than it is to use a 1 mile time because the 1 mile is not a completely aerobic event. It’s also important to use an easy pace range because you will feel different everyday depending on what the day before was (your easy pace will likely be slower the day after a hard workout)

👉“Slow” is relative! Every runner should do 80% of their mileage at an easy pace, whatever that is for you based on what the VDOT calculator tells you

Uncertain Times: How To Stay Motivated When Things Change

EPISODE 49 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/49-uncertain-times-how-to-stay-motivated-when-things-change/id1446735036

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


Spring is usually a time of promise and excitement! 🌸 This year couldn’t be more different. Nearly every race across the U.S. and beyond has been ❌cancelled❌, and we are all forced to practice social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our lives have had to change a lot these last few weeks, and that has sometimes meant changes to our training too.

❓So, how do we stay motivated during these uncertain times❓

✅REMEMBER THAT RUNNING IS A CUMULATIVE SPORT: You can keep gaining fitness during this time! The running you do now will only benefit you in your next race

✅REMEMBER YOUR “WHY”: Why did you originally start on your running journey? Don’t tie your running JUST to PRs and the external rewards. Think about the Vitamin D you’re getting, the immune system boost, being in nature. Now is the time to regenerate your internal motivation!

✅ADJUST YOUR SHORT-TERM GOALS: Set short-term, attainable goals that will align you with your long-term goals. Maybe it’s targeting a weekly mileage goal or focusing more on strength training

✅REFLECT ON WHAT TRAINING EXCITES YOU: Do you love threshold workouts or speed workouts? Now is the time to do training that you LIKE! There’s so many different ways to change up a training plan to make it exciting for you! When races are scheduled again, you can get race-specific again

✅BE PROUD OF WHERE YOU’RE AT NOW: You are among the lucky few if you are able to cruise into maintenance mode and run for the love of it. Many people don’t have the option to go outside and run for joy because their fitness simply isn’t there! Don’t take your fitness for granted

✅JOIN IN ON OUR VIRTUAL RACES: It’s so important right now for the running community to come together and race while still practicing social distancing! It’s also fun to see what you can do on your own without crowd support and other runners. These are GREAT for mental toughness and it’s good to practice your pre-race routine without races going on. Come up with a route beforehand: Either go on the track or find a path that has as limited interruptions as possible!

Transition Back To Outdoor Running From The Treadmill

EPISODE 50 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/50-transition-back-to-outdoor-running-from-the-treadmill/id1446735036

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?


It’s that time of year again when temps are warming up in colder climate areas and people want to get outside for more of their runs! ☀️

The transition back to exclusively running outside needs to be GRADUAL if you were doing all or most of your mileage on the treadmill, and we see runners get injured from jumping to 100% outdoor running too quickly. WHY❓

✅DIFFERENT MUSCLE UTILIZATION: Treadmill belts assist leg turnover which doesn’t fully utilize your muscles. Muscles, such as your hamstring muscles, don’t need to fire as much with the treadmill propelling you forward

✅SURFACE DIFFERENCES: The treadmill is a much softer surface than the roads, so the stress on your muscles, connective tissue and joints is far greater outside. Recovery from each run outside can take longer because of this

✅LATERAL MOVEMENT DIFFERENCES: When running outside, you must turn to change directions using the muscles that allow you to do that. The treadmill doesn’t require you to turn so those muscles get weak from months of treadmill running

✅ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: Factors like wind, heat, cold, and hills can be a shock to the system. Yes, you can simulate hills on a treadmill but wind cannot be replicated inside 💨

✅MENTAL ENERGY EXPENDITURE: The mental energy expended on a treadmill versus outside is very different. The treadmill can be mentally draining because it’s monotonous, but when outdoor running you must focus on pace and being aware of your surroundings 👀

🔥Don’t transition ALL of your runs to outside right away. Each week, add a day of easy running to outside. Plan for this to take 4-6 weeks total

🔥Get all of your easy runs outside FIRST, then do a workout or long run outside once all those easy runs are transitioned

🔥Slow your runs down a bit to account for the environmental factors. 10-30 seconds per mile slower, depending on hills, weather, wind, etc.

🔥Find a flat area or use the track for your first workout back to ease the transition

🔥Your workouts may be slower than they were on the treadmill outside right away. Don’t worry! Your body will recalibrate to outdoor