Season break for runners. When does a running break make sense?


Have you successfully completed the competition season? You’ve probably trained countless hours to reach your goal. You have challenged your body a lot. Now is the time to give something back.

Why even take a break?

That’s actually quite simple: the break gives you energy and fresh motivation and thus better performance.

A running season and especially a marathon run demand a lot from the body. Although tendon and ligament structures are strengthened in the long term by running training, they also need time to recover and adapt. The break is therefore crucial in order to reduce the risk of injury, give the body time to recover and to regain motivation.

Who does it make sense for to take a break?

Those who run twice a week without performance ambitions and hardly do intense training and competitions will probably not need a break. But if you train more often and also more intensively, it is definitely worth taking a break.

For some runners the break is a torture. Quite a few would prefer to run all year round, but THIS doesn’t make sense. Because both body and mind need a rest.

When is the ideal time for a season break?

The ideal time is in autumn/winter and after a main goal, such as a marathon.

How long does a season break last?

The duration is very individual and difficult to generalize. Depending on the general state of training, the intensity of stress and the physical condition, the restoration of destroyed muscle structures, the replenishment of energy stores and mental recovery can take three to six weeks. It is best to define the optimal period for yourself at the beginning of the break.

What does a break like that look like?

A season break does not necessarily mean no running training. For example, you can simply do without the intense sessions and only run casually. Ideally, however, you don’t plan anything during this time and train mainly according to your mood.

A “break” doesn’t have to mean that you shouldn’t move at all. A break means to keep the body going with moderate training. Also use the time to try out other sports (swimming, spinning, yoga, Pilates, etc.).

You can help your body to get back up to speed faster by taking care of a high-quality and protein-rich diet, integrating regenerative activities such as sauna, massage, bathtub or rolling on the Black Roll into your everyday life. But also use the break to do things you would otherwise neglect. Eat anything you feel like, you may also gain a little weight during this time. In winter, this minimizes the risk of infection.

How to get back after a break?

After a break, you are usually very motivated, but should still hold back a little. A good build-up, especially in the winter months, where you focus on basic training as well as strength and stabilization training, is definitely paying off. If you plan to start at competitions in this phase (city races, New Year’s Eve races, cross-country races), you should do this out of training and mainly for fun.

How do I integrate the break into my training schedule?

In general, it is advisable to train according to your mood during this time and still record training in order to really keep track of it. More intense sessions can be replaced by endurance runs or omitted completely. In running.COACH, each training session can also be done in another sport. The corresponding information is displayed.

Be courageous and don’t be afraid to lose your shape. It doesn’t happen that fast. But you should also not expect your top form immediately after re-entering the training. The break will pay off, maybe a little later.

2 replies on “Season break for runners. When does a running break make sense?”

I’ve been running for 10 weeks now. My last long run was 20K. Since then I’ve lost my motivation to run. Should I push through for another 2 months until autumn? Take a month off or maybe 2 or 3 weeks off in August, then resume in September until October? Thoughts? Advice?

If you have lost motivation it could be a sign that your body is telling you that you need a break. the blog notes that an ideal time to take a break is in Fall/winter but these is not a set in stone rule. Especially this year with the current situation a few weeks of break now might be just the thing and when you come back there might even be more events you can do!

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