Ask the Coach: Maintain Your Running Fitness

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How to Maintain Running Fitness

I ran a fall marathon in 3:45. I’d like to take it easy during the winter months, but maintain enough fitness to start training again in the spring without feeling like I’m starting from scratch. What should my training plan look like? -Dean K. Cambridge, MA 


First of all, congratulations on a speedy race time in the marathon. Hopefully, you’ve taken some time to recover fully from your race. Assuming that you’re rested, and there are no existing injuries, I would suggest that you run 4 or 5 times per week for 40-60 minutes at an easy to moderate pace to maintain your running fitness.

You can forget the watch (or cover it with your sleeve) while you run. This isn’t training, this is just running. Remember the reasons you fell in love with the sport in the first place. Rekindle your relationship with the run and enjoy the freedom of running for fitness. If you feel like sleeping in, or missing a day, that’s okay. No pressure.

On your off days, consider some fun cross-training ideas. You might consider some weight training, yoga, or swimming to mix it up and help strengthen your body. When the spring season gets here, you’ll be ready for it.

-Coach Saltmarsh