This morning I received an email from a very fine 52-year old runner I have been coaching. He's running the Boston Marathon in April, and he's had a terrific year of racing in 2014, and hopes to break 3-hours at Boston. I think he will.
He has a 10K race coming up on December 13, and had a couple others scheduled in late December and January.
He amended his schedule, and his December 13 will be his last race for a while. He admitted he was "burned out," and requested my advice regarding his decision to scrap racing for a while.
I said, "Amen!"
On Thanksgiving Day, I stayed off the grid. It's frightening how we become tethered to these electronic devices. Later in the evening, I logged on to see numerous pictures of Turkey Trot races,,,EVERYWHERE!
This month, there will be Jingle Bell Jaunts, Santa Sleigh runs, and Frozen 'Everything' races, and that's terrific.
I go back to prehistoric times when we were often forced to drive for two hours in order to find a race. So, I applaud the ability of us to be able to attend races, of all distances, on all weekends.
Having said that, I have found that, from around mid-December, and for the next 4 to 6 weeks, it's not a bad idea to "power down" a bit on racing.
For most of us, the weather is nasty, surfaces sometimes become treacherous, many of us have run fall marathons, and, of course, the Holiday season is here.
My formula has always been to run that late-season marathon, throw in a pre-Christmas race, then pile up the easy miles throughout January in preparation for a spring marathon effort.
Racing is great, but with the ability to attend races on 52 weekends of the year, it does a runner good to avoid the aforementioned "burnout," and giving racing a short winter break. When you toe the line for your first race after your break, you'll feel refreshed, and your legs will reward you with a fast race time.
Check out more running 'stuff' and advice at: www.muldowneyrunning.com