Recent News and Events

December 1st, 2022

How to Approach the Off Season

by Ryan Matisko, PT, DPT

Congratulations!! Whether it was C.I.M. this past weekend, the brutal NYC marathon, or an ideal condition Chicago or Berlin or any other fall marathon (even the ones that don’t get much attention), you have run your marathon!! The weeks of hard work, finally and hopefully, were rewarded with a great race.

But now what? Coming off of such a long training cycle with a lofty goal always feels a little weird and it doesn’t take long for thoughts of another race to come to mind. Maybe you’re already looking ahead to Boston, Berlin, or redemption at New York next year. But with the off-season looming what can you do to best fill the void and position yourself for another great race?

1) Take the time to rest 

Give your body the rest it needs in the week or two following your marathon. This is the time to allow some of the minor aches and pain that appeared during training to heal so you can go into the off-season feeling fresh.

This is also a great time to get back into other forms of exercise you may have neglected because of the demands of training. Go take that spin class, go to yoga, pilates, join that pickle ball league… (you get the idea here). It will not only feel great to be back but it will help make you a better runner!

2) Reflect on your training

While you are taking the time off from running you will have plenty of time to reflect on your race and training cycle. Some questions you should be asking yourself…

  • Did I achieve my goal. If not why? Not enough mileage? Not enough speed work? Not enough hill workouts? Did you taper appropriately?
  • How was your nutrition and hydration throughout the training cycle?  How was your sleep? 
  • Did I have any injuries? If so what were they? At what point in the cycle did the injury occur? Did I neglect my strength training?

You will learn a lot by taking the time to reflect and answer these questions honestly. By doing so you can begin the process of making adjustments to better your plan for the next race.

3) Set a time to talk with your PT/Coach 

Now that you took the time to reflect on your race and training it’s time to speak with your coach if you have one. Be honest with them in what worked and what didn’t. Work together on solutions to make your training optimal to what you hope to achieve.

If you had an injury during training be sure to set a time to talk with your Physical Therapist. Set a plan to check in frequently to continue to work on any range of motion or strength imbalance that lead to this in the first place. This is the time to be proactive and lay the foundation for the next race and to prevent any future injuries. It is so valuable to take this time during the off-season to correct those imbalances as not only will you feel better but run FASTER!

4) Find shorter distance races to RACE – 5k, 10k, Half

At this point you have taken the needed time off, you reflected on your training and made the necessary adjustments, you have been continuing to work with your PT to solidify your foundation, and you found your next fall marathon…now what!?

Find some races in the months leading up to the next training cycle with the goal to race them and find new PR’s. Check out the NYC Half, Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Brooklyn Half, SHAPE Women’s Half, Mini10k, so many fun shorter races to look forward to! Doing so will allow you to go into marathon training with up to date and appropriate training efforts to use in your program that will best reflect your current level of fitness. 

If you’re looking for a great physical therapist that understands your future running goals, we’re here to help you out. You can set up an appointment and check your insurance benefits here. If you are ready to get those off season strength gains going, we are here for that as well. Our next strength series will start in late January. Any other questions on how to make your next year running the best yet, give us a call and we’ll chat through all our different offerings to help set you up for success!

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Subscribe to our newsletter: