I’ve always struggled with maintenance mode. I do well when I have a race scheduled and a goal to work towards, but it’s unrealistic (among other things) to keep up intensity and certain training patterns all year. From mid-November until the beginning of April, I tend to be in maintenance mode, as the winters in Ottawa aren’t always runner friendly – especially at 4:30am, which is my designated running time.
I don’t want to risk getting injured and I don’t want my level of fitness to decrease, so I need a plan and some motivation for maintenance mode.
In order to do this, I’ve decided to treat maintenance mode like a race, in the sense that I’m going to develop a schedule and stick to it. The distances and paces will be much different than when I’m training for a race, and there will likely be more rest time than a typical training cycle. Instead of a desired finish time, my goal for my ‘maintenance cycle’ Is going to be to listen to my body, stay healthy, avoid injury and keep a good foundation going for my next training cycle.
I hope this will help me get through the next few months and will pay off in the spring when racing picks up again. Hopefully having a schedule will keep me on track and I won’t use this time to slack off. For the past two weeks I’ve already slowed down my paces, which, given a fixed running time on weekdays, means my distance has been shortened too.
It’s difficult to slow down sometimes, but then I remind myself that it’s even more difficult to have n injury, or be unable to run for other reasons.
What are some of the things that help you out when you are in maintenance mode?