profile

Run the Riot

Give me a break!

Published 3 months ago • 2 min read

Hey there, my friends!

Since Moab, I’ve been taking some significant time to let my body and mind recover. I’ve been active, but my running has been scaled back. As ultrarunners, we often find ourselves caught up in the thrill of racing, pushing our physical and mental limits in pursuit of new challenges. However, the importance of taking an off-season should not be underestimated. In this week’s newsletter, we'll explore the benefits of embracing a well-deserved break from racing and training, allowing your body and mind the opportunity to recharge for future successes.

In other words - TAKE A BREAK!!

DON’T FEAR A LITTLE TIME OFF!

Benefits of the Off-Season:

  • Physical Recovery:
    • Tissue Repair: Continuous running can lead to accumulated microtrauma in muscles and connective tissues. The off-season allows for comprehensive repair, reducing the risk of chronic injuries. The older I get, the more I need and appreciate this part of a break!
    • Immune System Boost: Intense training can temporarily suppress the immune system. A break from rigorous exercise supports immune function, reducing vulnerability to illness.
  • Mental Rejuvenation:
    • Reduced Burnout: Constantly pushing yourself to the limit can lead to mental burnout. Can I get a witness?? I’ve been there! An off-season provides a mental break, preventing fatigue and enhancing motivation for future challenges.
    • Rediscovering Your Passion: Taking a step back allows time for rediscovering the joy and passion for running, preventing burnout, and cultivating a renewed sense of purpose. If you’ve trained for any length of time, you’ve probably come to a point where you just didn’t want to run for a bit. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." My dad used to jokingly say, "Go away so I can miss you!" A little break from running makes us miss it!
  • Improved Performance:
    • Enhanced Adaptation: The body needs time to adapt to the stress of training. A well-timed off-season allows for more effective adaptation during subsequent training cycles, potentially leading to improved performance. One step back to take two steps forward!
    • Prevention of Plateau: Continuous high-intensity training can lead to performance plateaus. Taking a break interrupts this cycle, setting the stage for future gains.
  • Injury Prevention:
    • Identification of Weaknesses: The off-season is an ideal time to assess and address weaknesses, imbalances, and underlying issues that may contribute to injuries during intense training periods. Find out what's causing that lean, limp, or lagging foot!
    • Long-Term Health: Prioritizing rest can prevent overuse injuries and contribute to overall long-term health and longevity in the sport.
  • Enhanced Focus on Other Aspects:
    • Cross-Training Opportunities: The off-season provides a chance to engage in alternative activities and cross-training, promoting overall fitness and preventing burnout from constant running. Ride that mountain bike, paddle that SUP, practice that JiuJitsu, and lift those weights!
    • Skill Development: Focus on specific skills, such as strength training, flexibility, and nutrition, that may be neglected during intense training periods. Do those things you can’t seem to find the time to do during an intense training cycle!

In the world of ultrarunning, the off-season is not a sign of weakness but rather a strategic move toward sustained success. By allowing your body and mind the time they need to recover and rejuvenate, you set the foundation for future achievements. Embrace the off-season as an integral part of your training plan, and you'll likely find yourself returning to the trail stronger, more motivated, and ready for new challenges.

Speaking of new challenges - What challenges are you looking forward to next year?

On the Journey,

David

P.S. Mine Your Ultra Potential!

If you're considering running your first or furthest ultra or looking to take your running to the next level, I'd love to chat with you about it! Click here to learn more!


Run the Riot

Read more from Run the Riot

Don't Skip Leg Day! Now, I can almost hear some of you thinking, "Come on, David! Every day I hit the pavement, it's leg day!" And hey, I get it – but hear me out. I'm talking about those crucial lower-body strength workouts that can take your running game to the next level! If you're like me, prepping for mountain races while stuck on flat roads presents a challenge. That's where the leg work comes in! Currently, I'm gearing up for the High Lonesome 100 in Colorado, I've got altitude and...

4 days ago • 1 min read

Conquering the Mind: Train Your Brain Ultrarunning isn't just a physical test; it's a mental odyssey. While your body carries you mile after mile, it's your mind that pushes you through doubts, fatigue, and the whispers of "give up." So, if you're gearing up for an ultra, consider this your guide to building mental fortitude, the secret weapon in your arsenal. Facing the Mental Monsters: Ultras bring unique mental challenges. You can encounter self-doubt, exhaustion-induced hallucinations,...

20 days ago • 2 min read

Hey there! Guess what time it is? Yep, it's "Do the Speed Work" o'clock! So, I'm diving into my 20-week build for the summer races, and after the thrilling "lottery" season (I was 1 for 2), it feels amazing to slap some races on the calendar and get down to some serious training. Now, my training looks like what I give the runners I coach; it starts with a fitness-building block, and you know what that means... INTERVALS! I totally get it – when intervals show up on the schedule, there's this...

about 1 month ago • 1 min read
Share this post