Did you know there is a running off-season? There is! And it’s now! That’s not to say that there aren’t a few events in December and January. There are. I appear to be running 50km in December here. Who’s idea was that? But the vast majority of the bigger running events tend to be between March and October. Because HEAT. And although this might be less of an issue for certain Ballarat-dwellers who I have it on good authority were actually cold on their run on the weekend, around where I live I can look forward to temperatures of 25 degrees at 5am. Delicious.

It’s common to question what the plan is over the summer period for a whole heap of reasons.

1) It’s so hot. Like seriously gross.
2) You have that 6 week chunk of school holidays to deal with if you have kids.
3) There’s Christmas. You have to go and shop at all of these places that are not Lululemon or Nike.
4) There’s not much to train for anyway, so you might as well take it easy.

It’s true. It is hot, it is gross. I will probably have to reduce my running and crossfit over the school break because it’s just harder to get to. It’s a busy time of year. But the things I like to keep in mind are the fact that any training you do in gross heat is going to show big dividends that you probably won’t even notice until it cools down. Because there are no races to interrupt your training it is an awesome time of year to do exactly that, train. For me racing with the recovery and tapering can interrupt the flow of my training – so the summer period gives me months of uninterrupted time to train.

Top things to train for over Summer:

1) Aerobic base. I’m doing that at the moment with low heart rate training. Not having high intensity running in the heat is not something I overly miss.
2) Short distance. A great way to build towards a longer distance is to really consolidate your short distance. If you speed up your 5k run, your 10k distance is going to benefit from that. And the cool thing about training for a 5k is that most of your runs will be pretty short.
3) Strength training. Great time to focus on your cross-training efforts without being interrupted by pesky races. I’m really looking forward to spending more time at Crossfit over the next few months.

Part of what keeps me motivated is always having something to train for. Not everyone operates this way, but i certainly do. If I wasn’t training for something, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I thrive on the structure of it. If I am moving forward, I am moving in the right direction.

So, what are you training for?

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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