Rest is important too! What is a transition period, when is the best time to have it, and why is it so important?

Transition period is a specific recovery time after the peak of your running season, where the main focus is on rest and recovery. Regardless of your abilities, experiences, mental resilience, regardless of whether you did or did not achieve your running goals during the season - recovery period is necessary. Even runners, who do not train for a specific race, should alternate between heavier and lighter training blocks and incorporate complementary sports besides running.

We know. It is SO tempting to jump into another training block with the idea of building running fitness. But - recovery during the transition period is key. You need to give your body the time and space to absorb previous training stimulus, become stronger and faster.  If you skip the transition period, you increase risk of overtraining, injuries, sleep deprivation, reduced immunity and poor performance.

What to do during the transition period?

Besides rest, it is ideal to incorporate so-called cross training - in certain amounts, because you don't want to overdo cross-training either! Cross-training is basically any other physical activity besides running :) It allows you to stay active, while recovering your body and mind. Swimming is great, because your muscles and joints take a break from the load that running gives your body. Other beneficial activities are cycling, pilates, hiking, or strength training. 

Just as important as active and passive rest is analysis of previous training blocks, racing season, and the peak of your season. How was it? What progress did you make? What did you do well and what can you do better? How did you feel? After that, set new running goals that will get you excited and motivate your next training block!