Step back and add some balance to your day-to-day life. Reconnect with your family and friends, and rediscover some of your favorite hobbies that have laid dormant all summer while you’ve been on the trails. Running is much more mental than many of us are willing to admit, yet we rarely spend the time developing the balance and well-being that serves us on our hardest runs. The offseason is an opportunity to invest in your running season, but you have to seize that opportunity. Embrace the shift in weather, and the shortening of days. Allow yourself the reprieve from long miles and exhausted legs. I think you’ll find that, with some hard work and focus, you can improve your running during the offseason and set yourself up for an even better running experience when you start training for your next event or get back on your favorite trails.
As runners, we all relish those long days of summer with postcard weather and plenty of time and energy to get in our favorite runs. As the seasons change, it becomes more and more challenging to maintain our identity as “runners” and continue to do what we love – early morning runs are done in the dark and cold, snow is in the forecast and limits our route options, and there are fewer hours after the workday to get in our scheduled workouts. That being said, this is a fantastic time to recharge the mind, rest the body, and put in some quality time training out those nagging injuries. Offseason work, including active rest and injury prevention work in the gym, can (and should) be a cornerstone of your running season, and done deliberately and with intention. Don’t you approach your target workouts the same way? I encourage you to take the time to listen to your body as your running season draws to a close, and put some always-so-hard-to-come-by time into your body work. Runners consistently profess that they don’t do injury prevention work due to a lack of time and energy in the training season, and those same runners come back to me and complain that they don’t have time to be injured during their season when they inevitably do get hurt. Slow down, and spend some time improving your running body this fall.