After running your goal race of the year, it’s normal to want to sit on the couch and cozy up with a bottle of red wine and binge on Netflix for a few weeks. Eventually, boredom sinks in and you find you are ready to get back to working towards your running goals. You’re a runner and runners don’t just binge watch old episodes of Friends all year. They work on their goals
Figuring out what to do during the off-season can be difficult. There aren’t any off-season training plans to follow, which means often runners end up doing random workouts. Creating a plan for the off-season is essential to having a great race season.
To make the most of your off-season follow these rules:
Mix-up your workouts.
Spend less time running than you did during training season and more time cross-training.
Do workouts that you enjoy.
They don’t necessarily have to fit into a race specific training plan due to lack of time. For example: If you love Zumba, but don’t have time for it when training for a race, make it a regular part of your routine during this season.
You should always include fun workouts, but the off-season is really a time to stop stressing about goals, splits and clock times. It is an opportunity to let go of all of those things and just have fun while working on other aspects of running that will lead you to your next goal.
Include strength training a minimum of two times per week (and as much as 4 times a week). This is the best time period to focus on getting strong before you start increasing the mileage and intensity of your runs again.
Try something new.
Experiment with different types of workouts, join a new running group or do something you’ve never done before like trail running.
Read some inspirational books or books on the psychology of sport. Once you hit peak season your mind will be strong and you’ll feel inspired to give your goal your all.
Write out a monthly schedule.
While this is a time period to have fun, it’s still important to create structure so that you make sure you are working efficiently to meet your goals.
Set specific goals for your off-season.
Good goals include being able to do 25 push-ups or taking a yoga class twice a week.
Consult a coach.
Consult with a running coach to ensure your schedule will lead you to want to go in the fall and to make sure you’re including the right strength training workouts and cross-training workouts to support your goals.