8 Things Runners Should Focus on During the Off-Season

There is a feeling of relief when you finish your last race for the season. You can say goodbye to 5:00 a.m. runs, viscously sugary gels and two loads of laundry a week of sweaty, smelly running clothes. You are finished—for now—when it comes to training and can finally focus on the off-season. Depending on where you live, you may take a break in the humid summers or during the frigid winter. Either way, experts agree that a break is needed for both your body and your mind.

Why is it so important to take a break? Our bodies are constantly trying to maintain homeostasis—remaining stable. When you're training, you're pushing your body out of homeostasis so it can adapt. If you are constantly "on," your body can't adapt. Therefore, recovery is an important part of getting faster and stronger. The magic happens when you recover. Taking a break in the off-season from being "on" allows for adaptations to happen, for you to reset your goals or for you to focus on weight loss and muscle gain.

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