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Post-Race Recovery Training

Contributor: Matt Dixon     Category: Training

NOTE:  I don’t believe in a ‘foundational phase’.  That is old-school and bunk.  Not the best way to approach building the runner…

Yes, we, at Purple Patch Fitness, do lower stress running, but we don’t do classic ALL LOW stress easy endurance running.

In truth, the key component of early season training has more than one role.  We think of the ‘post season’ as the block of training that represents the very start of training for the following season.  Typically, this is following the last race of the previous season, as well as a two to three week break from all structure of training.  In this ‘post season’ phase there are several key focus points:

  • Low emotional stress:  This part of season should not be overly demanding emotionally, and should allow for plenty of capacity to focus on other areas of life.
  • Low physical load:  It is a phase of preparation, so the training load should be low.  I ask athletes to consider this phase as a period that allows you to work hard in the upcoming training, so we are careful to keep overall stress lower here.
  • Biomechanics:  When physical and emotional stress is low, it is a perfect time to evolve and improve your posture and mechanics.  Now is the time to create great habits.
  • Muscular readiness:  We keep training light, but consistent, and aim to ready the muscles, connective tissue and ligaments for harder training in the subsequent blocks.
  • Strength and synchronization:  This is also a time with the greatest emphasis on strength and conditioning, as well as neurological type conditioning exercises to help improve recruitment and overall athleticism.

It should be noted that any any general fitness gains experience here will be gradual and a nice byproduct.  The real endurance, resilience and fitness arrives out of the next block of real endurance focused training following the post season phase.

See Matt’s article “The Secrets to a Successful Training Program” for more information on the other phase of a training program.