What to Do Between Training Cycles:

What to Do Between Training Cycles:

After a goal race, it can be hard to figure out what to do next.  Sometimes your goal race goes perfectly, but sometimes it does not.  Either way, you are still the same person before and after the race. It’s important not to let a race result dictate how you feel.

As much as I would love to write about achieving goals at the Atlantic City Half Marathon, that didn’t happen (or anywhere close).  But life has gone on!

So now your goal race is done and over. Now what do you do?

Thinking out loud, how do you go from training hard to…well, anything else.

First, it’s important to put whatever happened at your race behind you.  Three of the most common post goal race feelings are:

We finish with a great PR, and want to jump right back into hard training with minimal rest…

We finish outside of our goals and seek a “redemption” race.

Or (where I’m at now), we miss our goals and want a break from the sport.

Whatever happened at your goal race, it’s important to take the time to rest and recover.  This time doesn’t make you weak.  It allows your body to recover and prepare for another training cycle.  If you continue to beat your body down with minimal rest, you’ll be forced to take time off because of a serious injury.

Here is a short list of things to do when not formally training for a race:

  • Run naked.  While yes, there are nude 5ks, run without a watch or any clue of pacing. Don’t worry about time, pace or routes.  Just run.
  • Run with someone new. Sometimes when you are training for something, workouts are scheduled, runs don’t match up with your friends.  Now is the perfect day to make time to run with others.
  • Run shorter races. If your original goal race was a half or full marathon, try training for something shorter.  The summer is the perfect time to run a 5k.  I love 5ks and I think they only make you stronger.
  • Do other workouts! This should be the most obvious right?  It’s great to build strength with muscles you don’t normally use.  This has been what I’ve been doing and most enjoying now.
  • Group Workouts: Whether you are going to a group strength class or a group social run, do things with new people. It will feel like an entirely different workout and it’s much easier to push yourself.
  • Focus on your diet: This is actually something my husband and I are working on now. As we get back into a “normal” routine, we are hoping to clean up our diet and work on eating more quality food.
Don’t forget: It’s ok to do nothing. Sometimes, after a hard training cycle, you don’t want to workout, and that is 100% fine.  Resting and not working out is cool.

When you find yourself between training cycles, it’s important not to push too hard, too soon. You’ll only find yourself burnt out or injured during the next training cycle.

Other Running Related Posts:
Are Losing Toenails a Runners Rite of Passage?
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat: 
Why 5ks are the Best
How to Race Well
How to Race in Unfavorable Conditions
How to Run in the Heat

Questions for you:
What do you do between training cycles?
What is your favorite nonrunning activity? 

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  1. Thanks for sharing your tips! I’ve just completed a goal race for me and managed to do even better than the time I’d set myself! I’ve been taking it easy this week (no runs at all so far with tonight being a gentle one!) so that I couldn’t get over excited and push too hard.
    I agree 5k’s are great for summer, I think I might try and work on some interval training to better my pace 🙂
    My favourite non running activity is to go out hiking, I love to climb mountains!

  2. I just finished my 2nd marathon and I’m in a weird limbo in-between for training. I’m actually running a 5k this weekend – will be focusing on shorter races for a little bit!

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