Building Confidence: Off-Season Training for Runners

When the season ends and summer begins, it’s time to look forward to the next phase of your athletic year: the off-season. Every runner knows that this period of time is just as important to overall performance as the competition season, so finding paths for active recovery and strength training can help your child build confidence in their skillset. Keep reading to learn more about our top tips for off-season training for runners – plus how you can get your kids involved in the Memphis Youth Athletics City Summer Program

Off-Season Training for Runners

The best athletes recommend training year-round for peak performance. The same is true for runners, and student-athletes can make the most out of the summer months by following through on an off-season training plan. 

Benefits of Training Plans for Runners


After a season of intense training and competition, student-athletes need time to heal and recover from the accumulated stress. An effective summer training plan for runners should include lots of room for rest to support recovery from any lingering injuries so your child can start the next season healthy and strong. 

Strength & Flexibility

While the competition season may keep runners focused on the finish line, the off-season is the time to prioritize other areas of fitness. Weight training and flexibility routines can improve muscle endurance, stability, joint mobility, and overall athletic performance – all while reducing the risk of injuries during peak training periods. 


The competition season can put a lot of pressure on runners, especially student-athletes. Summer vacation is a great time to put a pause on the mental stress of performing well, which can prevent burnout and keep them in the game. 


Taking some time away from the track or field can be a good way to plan for the future. Setting a strategic path forward can boost your child’s performance – after all, with a good plan, you can do anything you set your mind to! 


Last but not least, the off-season is a great time for your child to build confidence in their running ability. By seeing all of these benefits become realities, they can track their performance and watch themselves getting better at their favorite sport – and that confidence can translate into success at the start of the next season. 

Building Confidence: Off-Season Training for Runners

Creating a Balanced Off-Season Running Plan

Having a training plan mapped out can help you and your student-athlete stay on top of their skillset and build confidence for the upcoming season. Here’s what we recommend for your off-season workouts:  

Cycle Training

Start by organizing your training into cycles of two to three weeks. This approach can prevent overtraining and allow for gradual improvement over the course of summer vacation. For best results, focus each cycle on a new target, like strength training, endurance, or flexibility. 

Strength Training

Focus on exercises that target the major muscle groups used in running, such as the legs, core, and upper body. Strength training will help your child build muscle endurance, reduce the risk of injuries, and improve their overall running performance.

Endurance & Aerobic Workouts

Next is maintaining cardiovascular fitness with low-intensity, long-duration aerobic workouts. These sessions should be less intense than your child’s peak season training but still enough to keep their base fitness levels through activities like base miles, cycling, or swimming. 

Flexibility & Mobility Exercises

Dedicate time to flexibility and mobility exercises, such as yoga, stretching routines, and mobility drills. These activities can enhance your student-athlete’s range of motion, improve their muscle elasticity, and aid in injury prevention. 

Skill Development & Technique Improvement

Use the off-season to focus on specific skills and techniques that may need improvement. This can include running form, stride efficiency, and breathing techniques. We recommend working with a coach or using video analysis to get valuable feedback and help your child make necessary adjustments.

Recovery & Rest

Finally, getting adequate rest is key. Schedule rest days, prioritize proper sleep, and make sure your runner is eating a healthy diet. 

MYA’s Summer Training Opportunities

Creating off-season training plans for runners isn’t exactly on every busy parent’s to-do list. Fortunately, we can help your child take their skills to the next level with the MYA City Summer Program. 

This health and wellness summer camp puts track and field at its core, helping 300 3rd–8th-grade students grow their skills and boost their athletic confidence. Through education, athletic training, and games, we’ll teach kids about the importance of staying healthy with every drill and hurdle. 

To learn more about the MYA City Summer Program, including scheduling and logistics, visit our website. 

Ready, Set, Run! 

Whether you’re joining us for the City Summer Program or training for the off-season at home, prioritizing your child’s health is the best way to spend your summer vacation. Becoming a great runner takes practice, and there’s no better way to drill your skills than with an off-season training plan. And when your student-athlete is ready to take on the track, just turn to Memphis Youth Athletics to gear up for greatness.