Most of us take some sort of break from running during the winter, either to do something else or just rest the legs for a bit. A break during this time of year has advantages of getting you mentally rested and ready for next year and allowing all that training you’ve done all year to really sink in. Taking a break this winter doesn’t mean that you have to let yourself get completely out of shape and have to start over next season. I always look forward to a winter break, but if I take time completely off my feet, I dread the few weeks back when everything tightens up and just plain hurts to run.
The best thing I’ve found to give your body a rest and keep your fitness maintained is to cut your mileage down to about 15-25% of your normal so that you’re running a small amount every other day. This gives your body the physical and mental break it needs while still letting your muscles retain some of that running memory and conditioning. That way when you do want to start up again everything will be ready to go. Enjoy the season and be safe out there.