Off-season: the official love-hate relationship of running.
(I feel like this should be a running-reality tv show...)
Most runners strongly dislike off season because:
of the post-marathon blues
maybe fewer or no races on the near horizon
not to mention weather changes that make running challenging (hello dread-mill).
Some runners love the extra down time, increased cross training, new running adventures...
(yup, I'm THIS weirdo runner...whose with me?)
The problem with loathing your off-season...
It's what makes you a better runner.
So ignoring it, could actually lead to you sabotaging your own race goals.
But let's back this bus up real quick…
What an off season is:
Rest time + reverse taper time
(aka: time you take off from running + time you take slowly building your mileage back up + a possible emphasis on cross training vs running)
Why you do it:
To ensure FULL recovery from the stress/load of your last training block
How long it can be:
Want the full scoop instead of the cliff notes? Read more HERE!
BIGGER question: What do you DO during your off season?
You lay the foundation to becoming a better runner.
But you have to admit…"be a better runner"…
Is kind of vague.
It makes sense on one hand!
You want to be a better runner compared to last race season, or when you first started running, or maybe you're determined to finally run that sub 4-hour marathon because you were SO CLOSE!
There's quantifiable, objective, data-driven ways to assess and improve your running performance:
Decrease your mile time by 10-30secs
Run your first sub 50min 10k
Run your first marathon
Complete 1 half marathon every month, etc
There's NOTHING wrong with very specific, number-focused running goals.
You need 6-12 weeks to prep for a marathon
You HAVE to do a long run around 20miles
You need to be able to be on your feet for up to 4+ hours etc
But the ULTIMATE secret to truly becoming a "better runner" ...is in your own words.
Check out you all said over on Instagram.
"Being a better runner" to you all means:
"getting faster so I can be closer to where I was before having kids"
"Learning about and understanding my own body"
"Being empowered with the knowledge to assess my own weaknesses"
"having knowledge/exercises to work on my weak areas and how to make proper changes in my body"
You know what's so cool about these?
One of you wrapped it up so well: