If you’re in a warm weather climate like me, this is your peak racing season and you’re probably running a lot and generally trying to eat well.
But for others, as you move into the cold season and your races are over for a while, you might be in a bit of a funk.
What happens when you don’t have a race to train for, it’s getting harder to go outside in the cold, and you have the holidays looming with lots of yummy and fattening food ahead?
This is what it was like for Steve Gosner, Physical Therapist, sub 3 hour marathoner and 2 time Iron Man. He calls it “training purgatory”, when a slight “thickening” around his waist and a “sure, why not?” attitude towards desert (beer) and a second helping at dinner are the norm.
A RunSmartOnline.com article called, Training Between Races, emphasizes this “whatever” period as a time to go easy on yourself, take the 2nd helping, and adopt a “zero pressure running” attitude.
This doesn’t mean you should be gluttonous, skip your strength work, and avoid lacing up your running shoes. Hopefully, being in the Core Crew and watching others continue to train gives you some motivation to keep being active, but according to RunSmartOnline, there are ways to maintain your fitness while still giving yourself a chance to rest, recoup, and be ready when your training starts up again.
Here are a few ideas they suggest:
1. Zero Expectation Running
Whether you’re last training cycle was a huge success or a bust, it’s important to reconnect with running. Let’s face it. It’s not uncommon for our running to feel like a chore when we’re training. We rush to fit it all in, juggling a handful of other tasks and schedule.
During your training purgatory go out and run just to run. Set zero expectations of time, distance, and pace. Go out and simply come back when you’re ready. To me, these are the best runs.
2. Keep It Slow
Unless you’re squeezing in a few short races before training officially begins, avoid working too hard. Wouldn’t it suck to stir up an injury before your training cycle begins? Who wants to get off to a rocky start? Not me and I’m guessing not you.
Find a pace between your easy and base building pace. The sweet spot hovers around a pace that you’re breathing is easy and you can chat freely without gasping for oxygen.
3. Prep for Training
As most runners begin training for their spring races it’s important to avoid a complete shut down. Doing so will not only will it zap your current level of fitness, but it could weaken your tolerance to injury when you start training again.
Keep up with your running, but keep it slow and with no pressure added. Prepare for the time when training will start again with strength exercises. Take the 2nd helping, but don’t overdo it, and avoid late night snacking and too much overindulgence.
What are some other ways you help keep yourself in check? How about signing up for your next race? Signing up for a race, even one that is a little far out, could help keep you mentally prepare to keep up your fitness! If your race season is too far in the future to keep you excited, find a race in Florida and come visit! 🙂
In the meantime, strength work is top priority to be ready and stay injury free. It’s ab day…the perfect way to combat that 2nd helping!
Day 22 exercises: Abs – 3 sets (:30 per exercise)
- Roll Up
- Pilates Scissors
- Bird Dog Crunch (left side)
- Boat Pose
- Bird Dog Crunch (right side)
- Side Plank (:30 each side)
Bonus: Daily Abs (3 rounds) + No Junk Food Challenge + Water Challenge
The no junk food challenge usually lasts 21 days, but we’re just making the commitment for one day and since it’s Tuesday, we are also going to drink lots of water! Who’s in?
Speed Work: This week’s speed work out is one of my favorites because it’s a great workout and still hurts, but is doable for everyone.
Workout: 4-6X 800M (1/2 mile repeats)
- Warm up – 1-1.5 miles (slow)
- 4-6x 800M – 1/2 mile repeats with :90 rest in between sets
- Cool down – 1-1.5 miles (slow)
Total of 3-6 miles depending on your distance level. If you’re in “training purgatory” the lower level of 3 miles is a great way to work up a sweat and keep your speed in tact. If you’re in peak training and have a race coming up, go for the longer distance and bust out 6 miles with 3 miles of speed work!
Once again, we are coming up on the end of the month. November 22nd means it’s time to plan for December and I want to hear your ideas for next month’s strength work. ALL ideas welcome! Video yourself doing your favorite strength exercises, or just let me know what you want to work on. Don’t be shy! Reach out to me and post in Strong to the Core, or private message me here. If we aren’t “friends” on Facebook, please friend me because I love to get to know you better by seeing your everyday life. 🙂
Whether your in peak training season, or in “training purgatory” let our Core Crew help keep you active. Stay involved, post what you’re up too, and when you get your exercises done. Posting helps keep you motivated and means we can cheer you on!
No matter what keeps you going….get moving and be active Crew! 🙂