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What To Do Between Training Cycles


So you have finished one race and have another one on the horizon, but what do you do between training cycles? Join me for Running Coaches Corners Link Up!

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Running Coaches Corner is a weekly Wednesday Link up with your cohosts Lora, Rachel, Debbie, and myself. We are continuing with the theme of summer running! Don’t miss my other Coaches Corner Posts and link ups!

For many, summer running means getting back at training, with “back” being the operative word. A good chunk of those training for a summer race will be coming off of a previous training cycle that might have ended a month or two before. So what should you do between training cycles to relax and unwind, but also to put yourself in position for the best possible summer training cycle? What should you plan for your pre full or half marathon training plan?

The interim time between training cycles can be misleading because you are technically in the off season, but not really because you might only have a few weeks between training cycles. That means that there are some definite do’s and don’t’s for the time between training cycles.

What to Do Between Training Cycles

What should runners do between training cycles? Find out at

Do: Take some time off after your race

You have worked hard, ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR. Your body needs a break from high impact activity, and likely a bit of lovin.

Don’t: Stop all physical activity

Even in the days after a marathon, I will build activity into my days. From yoga to cross training like spinning or swimming, I keep my body moving to keep my muscles from getting stiff. Think of this like active rest within a training cycle: give you body time off from high impact, but keep moving!

Do: Have some fun with your time off

During a training cycle, your focus is on building for the best possible end result at your race, and there might not be a lot of time (or energy) for extracurricular activities from social events to trying out other new fun hobbies and pursuits. Why not try them out now! Also, this is a great time to get back to that strength training and mobility work and set good habits for the upcoming training cycle.

Don’t: Have too much fun and injure yourself

Remember, you are going to be in training pretty soon, and nobody wants to have to shorten their training cycle because they overdid it during the off season and hurt themselves. You can certainly overtrain in the off season, when you don’t have the careful structure and work/recovery cycles of training!

Do: Start to think about the training cycle ahead

Because it is coming! Get yourself set up with what you can do now to prep for the season ahead. That way you don’t find yourself scrambling at the last moment.

Don’t: Start obsess or start training too early

YOU ARE NOT IN TRAINING YET. That means that, for at least a few weeks, you can wear high heels and pants that don’t have a drawstring waist or proprietary fabric. Underwire might even make an appearance. Remind yourself that you can be a real human being.

Do: Maintain your base

Keep your mileage manageable, but don’t be afraid to keep it a little bit higher than the start of your last training cycle (after appropriate rest).  Remember that whole periodization thing…?

Don’t: Obsess about mileage

If you have a week that is a bit less or a week that is a bit more, don’t worry about it! Just adjust accordingly for the following week! You don’t have to answer to anyone or hit specific long run or mileage totals–enjoy that!

Do: Recover from any burnout from the previous training cycle

Come back to the new training cycle rejuvenated after a good rest, proper recovery, and a fresh outlook. Think back on challenges from the past cycle and consider how you might improve upon them. Did you overcommit yourself and thus end up burned out because of the stress of too much all at once? Or did you have a training plan that left you exhausted, run after run?

Do: Get set up for the next training cycle with the right plan and the right coach!

Summer running season is almost upon us, and I have a few openings left in my client roster. Whether you are training for a big race or just training for life and learning to balance it all, you deserve to have someone in your corner who can help you get the most from the work you put forth. Check out my training page and email me to talk training!

Runners, how do you handle only a few weeks off?

What training cycles are you between?

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Also linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Fitful Focus.

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