Alchemy Running Series: Embracing the off-season
by Andrea Jones
I’ve never been the year round runner. I’m more the fair weather kind. Even in temperate Virginia, I’d take at least 1-2 months of treadmill running because it was “too cold” outside. Treadmills proved to be torture (both mentally and physically) for me. So it was natural that I fell into an off-season or recovery period of cross training and maintenance runs over the winter until the thaw came.
For the disciplined runner or Alchemist, taking a rest day can seem absurd. Sore muscles and tired legs are awesome! Wait. Are they? Or is this your body sending you a message? Even professional athletes take breaks from their sport. What if the Wild Hockey team didn’t have an off-season? Insanity. No one is immune to the risk of burnout, injury and chronic fatigue.
That said, recovery is not about hanging up the running shoes and saddling up to all 10 episodes of West World this weekend. It’s not giving the old runner’s knee a rest by jumping into spinning classes 6x/week. And it’s certainly not about depriving yourself from the sport of running.
It is about easing up on the volume and intensity of your training for 4-6 weeks. Dropping your runs to 1-2x/week and adding any form of fitness or cross training you enjoy. (Hello Alchemy Squat Series!)
So what’s it look like? My typical off-season week looks like this:
Running: 1-2x/week (one 6-8 mile acceleration run and one easy 800m repeat workout)
AFlow: 1x/week (in ideal world)
As your 2017 race schedule takes shape, recognize your body may be craving a break. Resist the urge to sign up for ALL the races and take 6 weeks off. Sign up for our upcoming Squat Series – the secret sauce to preventing injury and improving recovery. You can expect to strengthen your legs and add overall agility and athleticism to your running prowess. Read more on the Squat Series from the legend himself, Coach Tyler Quinn. Trust me – you will find a new gear this Spring as you crush old PRs, and set new ones.
Andrea Jones is a founder and coach at Alchemy, and Boston Marathon 2018 bound. In her spare time, you can find her kicking it with her family in St. Paul, running laps around Boom Island Park, or sipping a Brasa Breeze.