Monthly Archives: November 2014

  • What to do in the "off-season"

    What to do in the off-season.

    Running is a winter sport that is merely played out in the summer.

    What this means is that the final long run you do 3 weeks out from your marathon that you spend hours trying to decide the distance of matters little.

    The 4 month training plan you do before the A race of the year is important, no doubt. However it still may matter less than what you do during the 4-6 months before that training plan.

    For many, the big off-season question is what the heck should I do?!?

    And that's a completely valid question.

    Many feel a bit lost, with no race in the immediate future.

    SKORA Fit

    So let us think this through a bit,

    What exactly should you do in the off-season?

    I feel the very best thing you can do while not training specifically for an event is to train your greatest weakness or to work on that which you've neglected.

    For myself and the off-season, I have three goals.

    1) Increase my average monthly volume. I'd like to come out of the winter being able to comfortably run a bit more than I have been doing during the summer. While the colder weather may make it tough for people to run more, I've also found that a lack of frequent races makes it easier to run more.

    2) Work on my speed. At the same time as I increase the amount of easy miles I run each week, I'd like to make my 2-3 weekly quality workouts more geared towards the 5k faster running than the half marathon specific training I had been doing most of the summer. Last winter I worked on my mile speed. The faster I can run 3.1 miles, the faster you can run 13.1 miles and the faster your easy pace will become. 

    3) Get back into consistent strength work The closer I am to a goal race or if Im racing a lot during the summer, I tend to do less strength work as my training quality is quite high. Ive always found the winter allows me to almost reset on strength work. Our friends over at Kinetic Revolution have a number of progressive strength training programs you can start this off-season. 

    How about you? 

    Think about the last 6 to 9 months, what is something you have possibly put on the back burner with your training? If you're a triathlete, work on your weak sport. If you're a runner, focus on an aspect of your fitness that needs attention such as short course speed, general volume, strength work, work on increasing your run frequency but not necessary volume, improving your hill running ability, or doing more trail work.

    You May Also Like: How & Why You Outside in the Snow / The Importance of Winter Training

    Kyle Kranz
  • Your next running breakthrough

    It's likely you've had a breakthrough moment in your life.

    This may have occurred in your running, while you were learning a new skill, or at work.

    Whatever the breakthrough was in, you likely did something or changed something before the big development to help trigger the gain. Looking back can be a helpful learning experience for yourself and others who are making strides to improve a similar endeavor.

    Recently at the forums on LetsRun.com, a discussion started on the topic of asking forum members what they did before their running breakthrough. You can click on the prior link to see the thread, or for your viewing ease we've summarized and quoted many of the responses ,below.

    Be mindful of your own running history and what these athletes did in their own training to boost their athletics.

    When looking to improve, look not at what you have done, but what you have not done.

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    "Consistent higher mileage w/o getting injured."

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    "solo running was good in that I ran my paces and my own efforts, rather than being coaxed into efforts that aren't entirely under control by running with others."

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    "Started training with people faster than me and shortened/quickened my turnover."

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    "Stopped getting injured.

    Did so by: running more mileage, running twice a day, quickening cadence, running on grass."

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    "running every single day. made a big difference."

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    "High mileage. Did 100 mpw base building for about 10-12 weeks. PRs at every distance from marathon to 5k."

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    "meticulously planned out where I was going to do what workouts, what parks were best for tempos, intervals, and long runs, and how they would fit into my schedule."

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    "Long stretch of higher mileage."

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    "The key is staying healthy and just loving what you do !!"

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    "I used to do too much. I did core every day, drills, hurdle walkovers, push ups, lifting 2x a week, and swimming 2x a week. I then just started running higher mileage, doing hurdle drills, and sleeping more. Works every time"

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    "Doubles. Added about 20min most mornings. Made an amazing difference."

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    "My sleep was used to be plagued with anxiety and periodic bouts of insomnia until I started taking vitamins regularly."

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    "Cut back to 80mpw (had done 100 previous season)"

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    "ran slower..

    used to run 6 days a week, all runs hard effort."

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    "Rest is as critical as training."

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    "Consistent high mileage, doing 2 runs a day consistently, sleeping a lot, being confident in races"

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    "Consistency was key for me."

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    "Easy days easy. Hard days hard. I'm a 25:30 8k cross guy and hardly ever run under 8:00 pace on easy days"

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    "Started running in neutral shoes (had been in overly supportive clunkers). Stopped running as many interval workouts. Increased my mileage. Decreased the length of my stride / increased running cadence."

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    "Stopped weighing myself and worrying about my weight as much."

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    "Hard work, dedication, and the biggest part is consistency."

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