OMG… The Off-Season Kills Me…

Athletes in different sports have off-season – football players, baseball players, and even runners.  Yes, runners have an off-season, too.  It’s important to have an off-season to prevent injury and more importantly…  BURNOUT.  It is a big concern, but easing up is mentally hard on me.

When the off-season comes around, I immediately have the need to search and register for that next big race.  Once registered (thanks to my husband), I start marking my training dates on my calendars.  Usually my hiatus from marathon training starts in May and ends in June.  And, boy I can’t wait for June to come around.  

Does “off-season” mean that I stop running for a whole month?  No it does not, and if it did, I’d go crazy!  It means that I ease up on the frequency and the intensity. Instead of running 25-30+ miles a week, I’ll run 15-20 miles. It’s still mentally hard on me though.  I am always asking myself if I’m doing enough, and I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s the off-season.  C’mon, Lei. June is just around the corner!  My typical off-season routine goes like this:

  • Monday – 3 miles-Easy
  • Tuesday – off or 3 miles-Easy
  • Wednesday – 4 mile Tempo Run (1/2-1 mile warm up; 2 mile @ 7:40-8:15; 1 mile cool down)
  • Thursday – off or 3 miles-Easy
  • Friday – off
  • Saturday – 4-6 miles-Easy
  • Sunday – off

A twenty minute yoga practice follows each run, as does some core work. I’ve also started to incorporate leg work on my off days.

My next big race is the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon and I’m going to try to break the 4 hour mark. I’m so excited and I can’t wait for training to start. I messed around during my first marathon (I had to stop and take pictures!) and my training was majorly interrupted with my long work hours at the end, so I was not prepared (I still beat my first time by 15 minutes). This third time will be an all out assault. I will be using the Hansons Marathon Method’s Beginners schedule. Check it out on Amazon! It’s intense and I’ll be running the the most miles per week ever in my running life! Just thinking about this is making me anxious with excitement. C’mon, off-season, hurry up and get done with it! Heheh!

When’s your off-season? How do you feel during this slow time of the year? Remember to take it easy during your off-season and happy running!

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