Some offseasons, I work hard to keep a base and stay fit. Some offseasons, I don’t. Staying fit in the offseason is a choice, and honestly, I don’t think you need times where you take a step back and don’t focus on fitness. This year, I didn’t, and I can definitely feel the difference. I have no regrets about that, and fitness will come back.
Everyone needs a break in their running. Running year-round can result in injury or, like me: burnout. Feeling completely out of shape isn’t the most pleasant way to begin running again, and there are ways to cross-train and get the most from an offseason. Ultimately, the offseason should be used to rest and recover.
Here are a Few Ways I’ve Stayed Fit in the Offseason:
Create a Schedule or Plan:
Like when you are running, it’s important to create a plan. Whether you want to make a goal to run 2-3 times a week, cross-train, or whatever, make a plan. When you aren’t training for anything, it becomes easy not to do anything. Part of Staying fit in the offseason means having a plan. Believe me, from late April until early June, I took a week of rest, which turned into 2 months. I worked out sometimes, but not enough to keep any base fitness. I was fine with that, though!
Create a Realistic Plan:
Sure, you could dedicate the amount you currently dedicate to running, but it’s an offseason for a reason! You aren’t supposed to go hard; you should relax and enjoy other things. I typically recommend about half the time you would dedicate to running but make the plan realistic for you. Find new hobbies you enjoy, do new things, or heck do nothing at all.
Do New Things:
If all you do during your running offseason is run or run fewer miles, it’s not really an offseason. Staying fit in the offseason can include new workouts or new things you never thought you would. For instance, I’ve tried new strength workouts and home gym apps. I never thought I would do that!
Here are some other examples of other great fitness options to stay fit in the offseason:
Strength Training: Some offseasons I get into it, some off-seasons I don’t. I won’t pretend to be knowledgeable in it, but you can get great strength training advice from a certified trainer or coach.
Swimming: If you read the LOLZ blog long ago, you might remember I swam far before I ran. Swimming is a great full-body workout. Let’s be honest, it’s more fun in the summer and outdoors, but it’s just as good in the winter too. I will say with every injury I’ve decided to swim during, I’ve come back stronger.
Yoga: Yoga is becoming trendy. Especially hot yoga, now that it’s getting colder.
Spinning and Cycling: I’ve done a few spin classes before. I don’t need (or want) to invest in a road bike, and fun spin classes are good enough for me. Plus, normally, they have top 40s music, which I like. Peloton is the new thing, so who knows, your staying fit in the offseason might become your new main workout.
Group Classes: Personally, I like group classes in strength and cardio because I feel like it’s more fun, I actually do core and strength, and I like pop music. I find this to be one of the most underestimated ways to stay fit in the offseason.
Cardio Machines: Most runners like cardio machines as much as they like the treadmill. I like them because I can catch up on Netflix, TV shows, or be mindless for an hour and still get a good workout in. Sometimes, I catch up on social media too. You can go nuts and raise your heart rate if you want, but gym equipment is all about what you put into it. If you put more effort in, you’re going to stay fit in the offseason.
If you slowly pedal an elliptical, you won’t get as good a workout as if you go crazy pretending you are racing the elliptical user next to you.
Staying fit in the offseason and keeping a base has it’s place, just like everything else in the fitness world. I am a firm believer that it’s important to take a fair amount of rest so your body will be ready for the next training cycle.
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Questions for you:
What are your favorite things to do during an offseason?
What are some ways you stay fit in the offseason?