Your Marathon Is Over, Now What? Keys to a Fantastic Off-Season: PART 2 – Golf In Charlotte

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Create an Off-Season

With the fall marathon season ending in November and with two to four weeks of rest post-race, the winter holiday season is right on its heels….an ideal off-season for a runner should begin in January of the new year. The off-season allows the runner to: rest and recover from months of intense training, recover from injury, and implement an off-season strength training and running training strategy. The off-season lasts 16 weeks. The same amount of time it takes to prepare for a marathon. This is the time it takes to establish a fitness foundation that will stand up to the demands of being an endurance athlete and allow the athlete to reduce the rate and risk of overuse injuries that plague endurance athletes as well as lead to improved performance.

Rather than using the spring race schedule to “get in shape”, runners should “be in shape” and simply use races to sharpen their times.

Getting Started

Let’s break it down…We have 4 phases. A phase is a 4-week program periodized progressively and subdivided by workout days… then we start programming exercises. For those of you who followed a marathon training program…. the same principles apply.

  • Phase 1 (Intro phase-establish joint mobility, muscle flexibility, static & dynamic stability, improve posture.)
  • Phase 2 (Base conditioning phase movement patterns with specific exercises that emphasize your weaknesses.)
  • Phase 3 (Strength training introduces load to movement patterns to improve neuromuscular recruitment.)
  • Phase 4 (Shock phase plyometric training to improve muscle elasticity and tissue tolerance.)

This cyclical approach to training that is progressive in nature results in peak levels of performance. But, before we begin our four-phase conditioning program we must identify your weaknesses in order to make them stronger.

Know Before You Go

I have read many running-related articles that discuss how to avoid common running-related injuries. Few ever mention getting screened or assessed to see what your injury risk potential is! To do that, I use the Functional Movement Screen Assessment.

An assessment goes a long way in preventing training injuries in that it identifies the weak link in the athlete and allows the coach/trainer to target that weak link prior to the beginning of the training season. Assessing injury risk is the first step to reducing that risk!! It’s far easier to prevent an injury than to treat an injury. best way to prevent injury is by taking a proactive approach. Preventing an injury is much easier than treating one. Injuries arise in runners because most simply try to add fitness or performance to a body out of balance or a body that is already injured and experiencing pain.

End of PART 2