Off Season Activity

How (in)active should an athlete be during their off-season (say, 1 month)? How much is too much? What is the balance between complete recovery and detrimental detraining?

Anecdotal stories from those ‘in the trenches’ would be great!


In my findings, the rest time usually depends on the athlete. For a younger, less developed athlete a full track season can be overwhelming, so they may need a longer recovery time. As Charlie mentions in other areas, more mature athletes are hard to control and keep “caged”. Instead of sitting at home for a month, I like them to use active recovery and do things they normally dont get to do (that are safe). This may include basketball, golf, etc. They do need some time completely off, but you will need to talk with that athlete to see how long they will actually do this for without hiding exercising from you.

after indoor and outdoor I definitely need a break, but for example over this summer I kept on working out but changed around what i was doing to give my body something new. i took one week completely off, and otherwise went for trail runs or tempos on grass which will keep me in shape without tearing my body apart with the same repetitive motions of sprinting and hurdling. also lots of core work and lots of stretching- things I tend to have less time for during the year.

Depends on the nutrition and body comp…also I would work on postural and range of motion at this period, and fight the resistance of sprinting by being in a postion of favor.

position of favor…?

Changing anything near heavy training times or peaking phases is hard since most of the training will undue all the therapy. It’s best to start out range of motion first.

Brazillian Ju-Jitsu is fun to do in the off-season. You work the core area alot and you it teaches you hot to relax but is also an explosive activity. There is alot of coordination involved as you have to exucute moves on an opponent who is resisting you.

bjj guys overtrain like crazy, so if you happen to take it up i’d only go maybe twice a week.

Krasnayafleur I heard clemson is single?

Another example of oxygen not getting to an unborn fetus…

sorry my car has a carbon monoxide leak in it, are you still dating kornikova?


anything to contribute to the actual thread?

Back to the point: Off Season Activity?

not really

hahahahahaha tim don’t you read your own thread? clemson skips over the dating! :stuck_out_tongue:

my car has an oil leak, they should be friends.

getting on topic though… I know I will probably never convert anyone here to this line of thinking, but ballet and its relatives are incredible, and fairly low-stress. I still maintain that I was far stronger and more flexible when I was a dancer, not to mention improved coordination, better posture, and better-developed balance…

I think it also depends on the event.

As Dlive said about age and training of athlete.

As a thrower I needed minimum of 2 weeks off, maybe easy stretching and walks on the beach - for me only company was my Jack Russell Terror.

After 2 weeks I might start jogging or bike riding. But I found it took 6 weeks before my shoulders and knees recovered to start a GPP phase.

I think Charlie said in another thread the less training components you have to work with the less you can afford to get away from them.

My runners are active all year. One guy rock climbs and does slalom canoeing for fun. Another does down hill mountain bike racing (he is crazy-has totalled $30,000 in bikes in 18 months and loves it)

The thought of being completely inactive even for just a week terrifies me - is it completely necessary -

I was planning on 1 - 2 easy weight sessions a week / slow tempo / abs / surfing / some really gentle fartlek - would this this be too much ?

Also how should diet be considered during this time - especially concerning supplementation like ZMA & Creatine ?

There is also a great psychological benifit from a complete cessation of structured training, I think. I like some of the suggestions posted: Rock/Wall Climbing, Surfing, and even Ballet for the more [ahem] effeminate members of the forum. A break for mind & body as well as a chance to test the body with different movements and patterns, that wouldn’t ordinarily be tested through sprint training. Keep it fun!

I like what Clemson wrote:
I would work on postural and range of motion at this period, and fight the resistance of sprinting by being in a postion of favor.

This is a great oppurtunity for a therapist to really work their magic…


How long a break from any kind of speed work - If I take 2 - 4 weeks ‘off’ - then 1 months GPP -
that’s quite a long time out from speed - or is any 95 - 96% speed work incorperated into GPP ?

It depends, I’d imagine on the level of athlete. I would incorporate some speed-work into GPP. What about a progression of Plyos/ Med.Ball —> 30m accelerations on grass over a 2 week period? Charlie states in CFTS that speed worked shouldn’t be neglected > 4 weeks. With this in mind, after a 4 week lay-off, speed needs to be addressed relatively soon but perhaps not immediately.

Yep thanks gf_200 -
I think I’ll follow ur advice about accelerations during GPP - I might even do some F20’s in week 3

I better start scanning for Ideas for GPP as I’ve never done one b4 .

I’m also not sure how long to continue with this season having reached my targets , is it better to carry on racing through another month in the hopes of making further gains while I’m on a roll - or stop , rest and prepare for indoors / next season .