Race season typically begins in April and lasts through October, a time of year when most runners and triathletes are training at higher volumes of miles and intense intervals.
If you spend seven months training hard for races, particularly half marathons, marathons, Olympic-distance or long-distance triathlons, you need to take on offseason. Taking time off helps you:
- recover from race season
- avoid overtraining
- and prevent injuries.
Here are seven more reasons to take an offseason and, for the restless ones, five things you should do during the down months.
7 More Reasons You Need an OffseasonTo rest your cardiovascular system including your heart and lungs.
- To allow your joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and fascia time to heal from all the stress.
- To work on postural and muscular imbalances. If you have injuries or muscle tightness/trigger points that are one-sided, then you have an imbalance that should be addressed to prevent future injuries.
- To hit the weights. Strength training will help you to train harder and provide greater stability and strength to help prevent injuries.
- With age, your body needs more time to recover. If you want to continue racing competitively for years to come, then taking care of yourself is important.
- You stress your adrenals by training hard, getting up early, and racing.
- Endurance athletes have a tendency to become catabolic- you lose lean muscle. If you lose too much muscle, then the integrity of your bone density may become affected.