Off Season

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  • #17797

    Hi there!

    This question is open to anyone. Trying to get some insight into how long folks take for an off season. For reference I just did the following line up of training.

    -11/15/2021 to 2/6/2022: Maintenance Plan 3
    -2/7/2022 to 5/1/2022: 10k Plan Level 3
    -5/2/2022 to 5/8/2022: Very light (>50% volume)
    -5/8/2022 to 8/7/2022: A different 10k plan
    -8/8/2022 to now: No running, just walking for a week. Started picking up a few short easy runs this week.

    My next goal race is a marathon next May and I’m planning to do the Marathon Level 3 plan starting in January. That leaves over 4 months of “off season”. Is that too long? I am considering combining a maintenance plan with a build endurance plan to keep some fitness while working on strength/mobility or throwing in a December half marathon (which would be the half marathon level 3 starting next week).

    Any recommendations on either which option would be better and how long an “off-season” should last?

    Thanks! 🙂


    Good question. I’d like to hear from one of the coaches how to assemble some to the goal based plans into an annual plan.

    I personally don’t have an off season, I’m either training for a race, or I am not. I have used the “Run Faster”, “Build Endurance”, Maintenance” and “Stride Academy” plans. Each plan emphasizes a different fitness factor and is a opportunity to improve any weak areas you feel you may have. These are my off season activities. It is also the time to experiment – run some workouts with power, heart rate, or pace and become familiar with the different tools and how my mind and body responds to each metric and workout.


    Thanks for the input, Charles! I’ve read anything from a day off for every mile raced all the way up to 8 weeks off… which I don’t want to do. I like your idea of working on areas that may need some improvement and experimenting. The build endurance or half-marathon plan could be a good way to prep for the marathon distance after a year of racing shorter distances. Definitely interested to hear what one of the coaches thinks too.

    Leyla Porteous

    Hi HCable,

    Off-season duration is different for each athlete based on their unique needs, end of season fatigue and time availability. There isn’t a one size fits all for “off season”. I usually term the off season as a completed break from “training” followed by an unstructured period of “exercising”. This can be 2-6 weeks (sometimes more even), after this period of time there can be a shift to post season which is a great time to work on mobility, strength, cross-training and building a strong foundation. This again can last anywhere from 4-12 weeks, after this you can shift to pre-season which start to focus on a strong foundation for your upcoming A races for the season this again can last from 4-12 weeks. So 4 months isn’t too long for off and post season training.
    An example for you might be:
    7 week run faster + mobility
    11 week Build Run endurance + Strength training

    That’s 4.5 months of good pre-season training that will keep you fit, build resilience and strength ready for the starting your Marathon plan.


    Hi Leyla,

    Thanks so much for your response! This is very helpful insight and a good idea for a plan.

    Much appreciated!

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