Well, I said I was back and I meant it. The problem is I’m just not back to very much. I’m taking a serious off season right now and honestly not missing hitting the gym or road hard. With four easy ‘race’ weekends in a row heading my way in a few short days, I’m enjoying the extra time to relax and working better scheduling rest in my training calendar.
While it might be true a runner has no off season (thanks, Pinterest), it’s been over seven months since I’ve taken more than six days in a row and I paid for that in my marathon training. Post marathon recovery has been going well since right now I’m enjoying some slacker time working on mobility and little else. I don’t know if two weeks counts as a ‘season’ but it sure feels like it. Before now I never really thought about scheduling an off season, it always just kind of happened. I’ve also never been through a harder training cycle than I just was. Resting one day per week was always easy for me. Listening to my body when it says it needs an extra was never a big deal. Taking two to four weeks as an off season is totally new to me and it feels like forever since I’ve run hard, run fast or lifted heavy.
Lucky for me, I’ll have the opportunity to work on this all summer long. I’ll be scheduling at least a week of rest every seven weeks as I work through my mid-May to mid-August base building phase. My weekly mileage will increase somewhat by default after taking full advantage of my current off season this week. I’m tackling four easy ‘races’ with two pacing events, one lazy half marathon and one ‘let’s see what I’ve got right now’ 5k over the next four weekends. After that, it’s two more weeks of scheduled easy workouts to officially wrap up my off season then get back to work for fall.
I’m also hoping these easy runs in fun race environments helps me get my mojo back. This first intentional off season of not working out has me feeling funky. My body feels good but I’m not that motivated to get back in gear. I could go out for a short run whenever I want, the weather’s pretty great right now. I’m just not chomping at the bit to get out there.
Have you lost motivation during an off season? How do you schedule rest?