A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Take Two - Why You Need 2 Months Rest Out Of Your Training

Runners and other endurance athletes can be an obsessive lot. A lot of athletes cram so many races into their already busy schedules that it seems like they are racing every week.

Those are the ones are are trying to fit in three marathons in one weekend. Yeah, you know who you are!

Just take a step back and see what you're doing to yourself. If you're like many athletes I know, you have races throughout the entire year. That's not a good thing.

One of the most important things in planning for a great racing season is that athletes NEED to build in an off-season of at least two months to their training plans. This is absolutely critical to making sure that they are performing optimally way into their distant future.

Eight weeks might seem like a lot of time, but it is really only a blip on the yearly calendar.


Think about it...planning an easy day after a hard workout is a sound idea. Planning an easy week after 3-4 weeks of intense training makes sense also...

So wouldn't it make sense that after several hard months of training and racing, a wholesale recovery is needed? Wouldn't it make sense that this recovery should take at least two months, maybe even more? Physically, the chance of injury, especially permanent injury is significantly lowered if the body is allowed to heal.

Besides, it restores a lot of balance in one's life. Sometimes one needs a couple of months to focus on other things, like family, kids, and their jobs.

Remember your wife? Yeah, that person you married before you laid eyes on your bike? It's past time you get reacquainted with her.

Honey, you still know who I am?


Plus, the mind seeks balance, whether one likes it or not. If athletes are always training for triathlons and marathons, their minds will rebel after a while, especially if they neglect the other aspects of their lives.

Aside from lowering the chances of a debilitating physical injury, an extended recovery gives that chance for the mind to recover also. After a nice extended recovery, the mind is focused, is sharp, and is ready to kick some butt for the new season.

What is extended recovery anyway?

Well, it's not a chance to become lazy with overall health...

Definitely not!!!


...but to have a chance to do other things that are fun, yet active.

Getting warmer! Mountain biking is a great off-season activity. Just make sure the tires are round before riding though.


Yoga is another thing worth looking at, as well as other physical activities other than swimming, road cycling, and running. 

Those three activities can still be included, of course, but one STRONG suggestion...please leave the watch at home.

Ask yourself this question...do you remember a time where you just went running for the heck of it, and not worry about time, pacing, and speed? One time where you just walked out of your house with just your clothes and ran just for kicks?

(or without your clothes, if you're into that...)

If not, than you lost the real reason why you run...FOR FUN!!!

Screw the watch, don't worry about your heart rate, stop having satellites and the government track you with that GPS device. Just go out there and RUN! Take it easy and soak in your surroundings. Believe me, you'll definitely see a difference! You might actually find it fun.

You need to get in touch with the enjoyment of working out, if you want to keep it going far into the future. If you want to be like this person, who I admire for her feat...

99 Year Old Ida Keeling, Setting 100 meter sprint record this month. God bless her!


...then make sure you keep having fun with your fitness. That is what the off-season is there for. Make it so!!!

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