May 6, 2016

Maintaining endurance and speed while not racing

Race season in the south is usual fall and spring with a very few races in winter and summer. Because of this, many of the girls in my running group don't race for months at a time.  The coaches of the group try to keep everyone focused on fall races once the heat and humidity set in and the racing calendar dries up.  So what do you do to keep focused on the prize?  Here are some of the ways I enjoy keeping up endurance during the off season.

1. Pool and ocean swimming  While swimming is not a favorite activity, I do enjoy morning swims when it is too hot to enjoy running.  I get workouts on my training plan that include varying sets of intervals that include leg work and arm work plus sometimes timed drills. Ocean swimming is another great option and since we live very close to the beach, we sometimes do an open water swim.  I tried my first last summer and despite being very nervous, found it quite exhilarating.  And lets face it, the salt water really helps with buoyancy, a very good thing for swimmers.

2. Classes  My gym offers a vast assortment of classes including spin, pump and sweat, Yoga, Pilates etc.  While I have tried some of the classes, the timing has not worked out great for me so I decided to try Orange Theory Fitness this week.  They just opened a studio less than 3 miles from my house so it is convenient and since I am paying for monthly workouts I will attend.

3. Personal Training  Christine will like this one.  I am resuming my personal training sessions with Britt next week after my two week hiatus from the London Marathon.  I love working with a trainer one on one because they can focus on your weaknesses which are usually the things I avoid doing on my own.

4. Biking  When the weather is hot, a bike ride is usually a better option than running.  Having now found a group of girls who would like to ride once a week, this is another workout I am adding this summer.  Riding uses different muscles than running so it is a great workout between those difficult speed workouts.
Love my new bike since I can go faster on it!
5.  Running  You can't quit running just because there is intense heat and humidity to deal with. Getting out early in the morning or after the sun sets is the best option to beat the heat, but just plan of slower paces and know when racing season arrives, those legs will be able to run faster than you think!

Do you have any special workouts you incorporate into your plan when it is the off season?


  1. Actually I don't consider Summer my off season because that is when I have most of my free time since I don't work. I plan to get back to the gym next month, swim (once we get our new pool liner installed), long bike rides and hopefully long runs.

  2. Because I've run RnRVB every year since 2012, I don't consider summer an off season either. You just have to do what you have to do, whether that means early morning runs or taking it to the treadmill when the weather just isn't working in your favor.

  3. Biking is a great option in the heat :) and it really helps to keep your endurance up if you can find some hills to ride. Hills really helped me while I was off with my foot injury.

  4. spin classes are great for leg turnover--if I had time or could afford them!

  5. I love exploring gym classes in the Summer. And I still go for runs in the summer but don't worry about pace. Last Summer, I found that just consistency in getting out there paid off once the cooler weather hit.

  6. I don't change my workouts in the warmer weather; in fact I love being able to ride my bike in my shorts and tanks! The faster I go, the more cooling breezes I generate. For running, I just go earlier in the morning.

  7. I am so happy I do not live where there is too much heat and humidity. I always admire the people who live in the Southern US and continue to run through the summer. If it is hot, I get up and out early. If I am back by 9 a.m. it is usually not too bad. I like swimming too but never an open water swim.

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