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Thread: Break from running?

  1. #11
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    I've taken the last 2 weeks completely off (1 run) after the OMM. I was planning on 2 easy weeks but mangled feet meant I took a proper rest. I'm now going to do 2 easy weeks (35miles or so?), introducing some steadier sessions to get back into it. Currently feel pants running for 30-50mins atm but hoping the rest will pay off in Feb/March!
    Then 2 more weeks at normal tick-over mileage (~50) before trying to up my mileage compared to last year in an attempt to keep a roughly upward curve going!

    Last winter I went from the OMM straight into XC with no rest. Sucked in November and couldn't work out why - dur! Got going well in Jan/early Feb before a March crash. I then unexpectedly pulled off my best ever performance at the end of March and that confidence carried me through the season at a similar level.
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

  2. #12
    My suspicion is that the benefits of taking a break probably probably vary a lot from person to person, i.e. some people are able to handle consistently high training volumes and others aren't. Certainly many elites have defined 'on' and 'off' seasons - e.g. Kilian Jornet who supposedly doesn't run in the winter, just skis - which allows their bodies time to recover. Another example is Mark Allen (ex-Ironman world champ and all-round dominator) who was encouraged by his coach to take an extended break at the end of each season. Apparently his main 'training' in the off-season was chopping firewood.

    Whether runners / athletes who don't train at that sort of intensity or volume need this kind of extended break is a moot point I guess...

    As for losing fitness, to come back to the Mark Allen example, he has said that he was generally behind his rivals in the first part of the season, as they had done more training over the winter, but he timed his peak to perfectly coincide with the Hawaii Ironman in the Autumn, by which time the other guys were mostly burned out. The theory then would be that you may lose short term fitness by taking a break, but it can allow you to make significant gains further down the line as you're less likely to get injured or overtrained.

  3. #13
    Master
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    Yesterday I had my first run after an enforced break of over two weeks; first week due to Achilles tendonitis, then just as that seemed better, I got cellulitis. The run was 28 minutes at a rather modest pace, but it felt really tough. On the plus side, it generated as much endorphins as a fast-paced run of twice the length would normally produce! Incidentally, the tetchiness during a break from running, reported by others on this thread, is a withdrawal symptom due to lack of endorphins: I was told this by Dr Gareth Buffett, GP, runner and race organiser from Blaenavon.

    Anyway, I know that I will be back to a good level of fitness within a month or two (if my Achilles tendons hold out) -- although that probably reflects how low the level of fitness is that I now regard as "good".

  4. #14
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    I would not like to surmise how it translates across to running; but traditionally, in amateur cycling, the top time testers would put their feet up at the end of the season - late September, or late October if they were inclined towards the hill climb championships - and not get back to serious, structured training until the New Year, ready for the season openers in March.
    Many would then aim for either "an early season" or "a late season" - acknowledging that it was unlikely that they would be at the top of their game for the full season.
    Last edited by wheezing donkey; 13-11-2015 at 11:08 AM.
    I was a bit of an oddball until I was abducted by aliens; but I'm perfectly OK now!

  5. #15
    Senior Member Daletownrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheezing donkey View Post
    I would not like to surmise how it translates across to running; but traditionally, in amateur cycling, the top time testers would put their feet up at the end of the season - late September, or late October if they were inclined towards the hill climb championships - and not get back to serious, structured training until the New Year, ready for the season openers in March.
    Many would then aim for either "an early season" or "a late season" - acknowledging that it was unlikely that they would be at the top of their game for the full season.
    Exactly what I used to do, last race, early September, then nothing during the week, perhaps a clubrun on a Sunday, get fat til 1st Jan, Clayton Velo Spring Classic late February if you were fit enough, always look out for the lads with a Majorca tan, suppose the difference being with cycling I would probably ride 30 races in a season not including time trials, I think these days all the cycling guys go all year round, I think the main problem with the old way of packing in for the winter was it was harder to start again in the spring so consequently more people just packed up completely.

  6. #16
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daletownrunner View Post
    Exactly what I used to do, last race, early September, then nothing during the week, perhaps a clubrun on a Sunday, get fat til 1st Jan, Clayton Velo Spring Classic late February if you were fit enough, always look out for the lads with a Majorca tan, suppose the difference being with cycling I would probably ride 30 races in a season not including time trials, I think these days all the cycling guys go all year round, I think the main problem with the old way of packing in for the winter was it was harder to start again in the spring so consequently more people just packed up completely.
    The other factor to bear in mind, as in running, is that the quantum leap in the development of l.e.d. lighting has made serious training on an autumn/winter evening very feasible. I remember visiting a girlfriend in Wigan in the early 70's. Left her house about 10.30 p.m. with brand new batteries in the de-rigeur "Ever Ready" front and rear lights, on my fixed wheel road/track bike.
    Remember those "torpedo" rear lights that took just one "D" cell? It was totally shot-at by the time I was riding over London Road Bridge, on the A6 in Preston. I rode from Preston to Lancaster, on the A6, without a rear light. By the time I reached home at 1.00 a.m., the front light was barely a match for a candle.
    I was a bit of an oddball until I was abducted by aliens; but I'm perfectly OK now!

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