“What did you do during the off-season?”
This is a common question which crosses the mind of several runners during these months. And it is not…. “NOTHING AT ALL!”
But first comes first. If you are asking yourself this, it means you understand that there is a “pick” season and an “off” season, that you need to have in your calendar some months of “high” training and some of “relax” to recover, give a break to both: your body and your mind.
Then, the first thing you have to do during the Off -season (period) is to plan the Pick season. Which are your targets for next winter? What you want to achieve next running season? “To know the size of the foundation you need to know the height of the building”
Yes, you have to start from the end:
- First: fix your Big Target “I want to do XXX”; (Have you already fixed this?)
- The next question is have you found the right training plan for the Pick Season and also understood when this will start: all depends on the number of weeks you need to get your Big Target. Also have you identified the weak points “Ok, to get my goal I have to follow this plan, let me see… I think I can do all but THE YYY DAYS will be tough…!!” , this will determine the plan for the Off Season.
- Once you know when your Pick Season will start, you can plan the weeks left for it. To strengthen the weak points, as mentioned before.
The possibilities are many, for example: two runners targeting to complete their first Marathon will may follow a plan of 20 weeks. The same plan, but they will not start in the same week if one is targeting SCMM (in January) or London Marathon (in April), so their Off Season will be different.
Also it is possible to have “progressive goals”, for example: improving the time for the Half Marathon. A first mark can be ADHM in 2:05; then, SCMM in 2:00; and NDM in 1:55. In this case, the Pick season will be longer, but progressively going “up” getting the best performance by February end.
There are many possibilities, but all can be summarize in two types of Goals: (a) either we are targeting a longer distance or (b) a faster time.
- Runners targeting longer distance can focus during the Off Season in strengthen training, to get the body strong for the longer mileage coming. Also can do some weight lost plan, to reduce the “load” to be carried later…
- Runners going for a faster timing, can focus during the Off Season in improving the aerobic capacity: running longer distances at easy pace, to strengthen the heart. Also can do some strengthen plan for a particular muscle which always create trouble during the hard work of the pick season. Another alternative is to work on flexibility, with yoga for example, to be able to reduce the cadence at higher speed by increasing the length of the strides.
Conclusion: “Off-season” does not mean “do nothing”. No, be smart!! now is the right time to:Dream, dream high…
- DREAM HIGH
- SET YOUR GOALS
- Fix your plans, when you will start the hard work
- Find your weak points to strengthen them now
by Alfredo Miranda
Warmly known as Alfie by runners in the NCR Region, he is a mentor and a guide, par excellence, to many fledgling and mature runners. A super marathoner himself, he helps runners with their running plans for various events and most important always keeps their morale high up!
Alfie lives by the philosophy – The Killing is yet to come, you will see how well you push yourself…
He is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.