There was a time before I started on this journey that every day was a rest day. It was easy enough and I had no guilt about it. No running. Ok then! It’s funny how things change.
Now I do appreciate a rest day in my training. I also know the importance of recovery and how hard training and running races is especially when your in your mid 40’s. I have been good and resting after the marathon. I even went for a sports massage to aid in the recovery. I get it and I know that I need it.
But still sometimes I don’t recognize how important rest is to the body now that it is so used to going all the time.
Yesterday, I excitedly open my email (yes, excitedly) as I know we are going to start training for the NYC Half and I’m curious what I’m going to be doing.
My Coach starts off talking about the Trail Marathon as expected and how we will start focusing on the half soon. What wasn’t expected was the part about making sure that I am fully recovered from the trails and making sure to actually rest. As I said yesterday, trails are a different beast than road running. She has found that even though a person may feel fully recovered that the fatigue from a trail race is more subtle and runs deeper. Therefore, I am to rest. Although I can swim or bike EASY, but today I will take yet another a rest day.
Then I looked at my schedule more closely and realized that there were more rest days that I am used to having. What? Even then when running they are short, easy JOGs. I capitalized jog because this is how she emphasizes them to me. I know she may be (ok she is) right, but all I really wanted to do was run today.
I also know though what happens when I push myself more than I should. Two years ago I ended up running the local Pizza run literally 3 days after doing a Sprint Triathlon. I did it because I felt fine – no soreness, no fatigue, felt totally normal. That is until I started to run. I felt it almost immediately and I ended up very sore for days after. It was a hard lesson to learn, but one that I am glad that I learned early on.
We as athletes must respect what we do. We must respect the strain we put on our bodies and we must respect our bodies enough to allow it to recover. Yes, my mind is saying go, go, go and I know if asked my legs would go. But running is nothing if not a mind game. So I must use my mind to make the right choices for my body.
Rest it is.
JOG it will be.
So what do runners do when they aren’t running? Look for races to run.
And I’m only partly kidding.
Anyway, I will be good because part of me is kind of afraid of what she has in store for me. Yes, she is only going to give me the plan that will hopefully get me to where I told her that I want to go (the sub 2 half). That being said, I know it won’t be easy. I know there are going to be some (a lot) hard fast speed workouts. I only hope that I am up for the challenge.
Do you like your rest days?