November 6, 2008

Off Season Plans

Now that the trail racing season has wrapped up, it's time to start thinking about next year. I have some preliminary races in my head that I want to do for sure: Chippewa, Superior, Afton, Moose Mountain, and Wild Duluth. I'm sure others will fill in, such as Runnin' in the Ruff, Chester Woods, and In Yan Teopa. Before that, however, I need to decide on my goals for the off season, and how they will play into next season's races.

So, from now until mid-January:

R & R - but just for a week or two.
It's been a long, wonderful trail running season and I hope to still get out for an occasional fat ass run. But right now my left heel is still sore (self diagnosis = retrocalcaneal bursitis), so I need to let that heal up. I think I'll also need some new trail shoes, as I suspect that may be most of the culprit for this particular issue. And I need a mental break, so active rest (basically just doing activities for FUN rather than a specific purpose) is on the menu for the next couple of weeks.

Lose 5-10 lbs of fat.
This is actually more vague than it should be: 5 lbs is more realistic, but since I'm not overweight (I just weigh more than I ever have - thank you perimenopause), I will still be at a healthy weight whether I lose 0, 5, or 10 lbs. I will accomplish this by:

a) limiting caloric intake to 1600 +/- 100 calories per day, 5 days per week.
b) engaging in more high intensity cardio intervals (anaerobic 1x/week as well as aerobic 1x/week) to increase exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC).
c) maintaining strength training 2-3x per week. I may combine some of this with the anerobic intervals.
d) still doing some moderate intensity aerobic exercise including cross training (running, snow shoeing, rowing, biking, stair stepping) 2-3x/week.
e) dropping the bicep curls with Summit Extra Pale Ale from my routine.

Improve flexibility.
I am about as flexible as a redwood. As trees go, redwoods are pretty pliable, but.... I am not a tree. I will accomplish this by:

a) Self myofascial release using a biofoam roller. I have 2 of them, so I can do it in my living room every day if I choose to. No excuses!
b) Yoga sounds more interesting to me than static stretching, but I don't really want to drive to the gym in the evening to get into a class (and the class schedules change frequently). I see myself sticking to this more successfully if I do it in my living room in the evening as a relaxation thing immediately following the self myofascial release. In reality, it will probably be static stretching (or the PNF stretches that I can do myself without a partner) rather than yoga most of the time, but I've gotta start doing something. Preferrably most days of the week.

Correct muscle imbalances.
We've all got 'em and I am no exception. I'll accomlish this by:

a) doing a musculoskeletal assessment on myself to dial things in more precisely and monitor how what I've been doing has been working. Good thing I do this for a living, so I know exactly what I need to do.
b) Now I just have to do it more regularly ;)

Maintain a running base.
...even if it's minimal, so that I can jump in to my planned run training schedule beginning in mid-January in preparation for the Chippewa Moraine 50K in April. Up until then, most of my running will be at an easy pace and probably under 10 miles/run depending on how the heel and knees are feeling. I have a vague idea of what my Chippewa training schedule will be once we get to mid-Jan, but will not solidify it until assessments tell me what my strengths/weaknesses are at that time. Since I am historically weakest with strength endurance, I feel pretty confident that there will be lots of hills in my future.

Enjoy the offseason!


Londell said...

Sounds like I should copy this plan? May next year... Wishing you well and success. (BTW - you look far from even 2 pounds overweight, but that is just my opinion...) Stay strong.

scott said...

I am also taking a brief break and thinking about plans for next year. I love the research, thinking about new training plans, etc. My plans are brewing at

Runnin-from-the-Law said...

Hey now! You're dropping the Summit Curls, yet you just advised me to increase them! What fun is that?

Kel said...

Londell, feel free to copy my plan if you think it will work for you.

No worries Cindi, I'm not having any success completely eliminating Summit Curls. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain fewer sets/reps though.

Scott, the Kettle night run sounds kinda fun! Perhaps a chance to try out the new headlamp?

harry said...
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