Posted on Leave a comment

Maintaining Running Fitness Off-Season – The Plan

recovery training plan

When the racing season comes to the very end, A-races are done and post-race beers (or Colas) are all consumed, every athlete usually asks himself a question — what to do with that all free time that is now left from training? A lucky few may have their next season plans already, but even the most determined athletes need some rest and recovery.

Generally, it’s recommended to take a week or two of complete rest (hey, even Eliud Kipchoge takes three weeks off) but then you usually start making plans for the upcoming year. If your A-race is quite far ahead (say, 30 weeks or even more) or you just want to maintain your so-hard-earned running form until thoughts of next challenge pop up, you may want to fill this gap with some running activities. And you need a plan for that.

Below you can find a workout plan, which you can follow for the whole 8 weeks. It can be started immediately after your A-race, or you can have a week or two of complete recovery and then get back on track, and start running. The plan starts with two runs a week, continues with three runs a week and ends with the LTHR/LTP test, which will help you to adjust HR/pace zones for starting a race preparation training plan.

Week 1Wednesday
Recovery Run 45min
Saturday
Recovery Run 1:00h
45 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5) 1 h @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Week 2Tuesday
Endurance Run 0:40h
Friday
Stride Intervals 5×0:25min
Sunday
Endurance Run 0:55h
Endurance: 0:40:00 @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 5-6)
Keep 170-180 spm cadence during this workout.
Endurance: 30 min @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Repeat 5 times
Stride: 25 sec @ 118 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 10)
Recover: 1:05 @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Endurance: 0:55:00 @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 5-6)
Keep 170-180 spm cadence during this workout.
Week 3Tuesday
Recovery Run 40min
Thursday
Running Intervals, 10x1min
Sunday
Endurance Run 1:10h
40 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5) Warm up: 15 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Repeat 10 times
Hard: 1 min @ 110-118 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 9-10)
Recover: 1 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Endurance: 1:10:00 @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 5-6)

Try to keep 170-180 spm cadence during this workout.
Week 4 Tuesday
Tempo Run, 3x7min
Friday
Recovery Run 45min
Sunday
Endurance Run 1:00h
Warm up: 10 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Repeat 3 times
Tempo Run: 7 min @ 100 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 8)
Recovery: 3:30 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
45 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5) Endurance: 1:00:00 @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 5-6)

Try to keep 170-180 spm cadence during this workout.
Week 5 Tuesday
Tempo Run, 4x8min
Friday
Endurance Run 0:45h
Sunday
Endurance Run 1:00h
Warm up: 10 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Repeat 4 times
Tempo Run: 8 min @ 100 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 8)
Recovery: 4 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Endurance: 0:45:00 @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 5-6)

Keep 170-180 spm cadence during this workout.
Endurance: 1:00:00 @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 5-6)

Try to keep 170-180 spm cadence during this workout.
Week 6 Tuesday
Recovery Run 45min
Friday
Steady State Run, 2x20min
Sunday
Endurance Run 1:15h
45 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5) Warm up: 10 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Repeat 2 times
Steady State Run: 20 min @ 89 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 7)
Easy: 4 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Endurance: 1:15:00 @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 5-6)

Try to keep 170-180 spm cadence during this workout.
Week 7Tuesday
Recovery Run 45min
Friday
Steady State Run, 2x15min
Sunday
Endurance Run 1:20h
45 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5) Warm up: 10 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Repeat 2 times
Steady State Run: 15 min @ 89 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 7)
Easy: 3 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Endurance: 1:20:00 @ 77-84 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 5-6)

Try to keep 170-180 spm cadence during this workout.
Week 8Tuesday
Stride Intervals 6×0:45min Short
Thursday
Recovery Run 1:00h
Saturday
LTHR/LTP test
Warm up: 15 min @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
Repeat 6 times
Stride: 45 sec @ 118 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 10)
Recover: 1:30 @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5)
1 h @ 71-77 % of Threshold Pace (RPE 4-5) Read more about this test using this link.

If you would like to have this plan conveniently integrated to your TrainingPeaks calendar (and then seamlessly appear in your Garmin or any other compatible device), you can find this set of workouts in the TrainingPeaks plan store using the link below. It will come at a cost of $8 to you, meaning it trades for a pint of craft IPA in any bar of Chicago or Boston (excluding local tax and tip). So it is a tough call 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.