Sometimes I feel that runners do think rest is a dirty word. I still remember my first half marathon, where I attended a lot of the seminars. In one of them they mentioned that elite runners rarely run more than one marathon a year. It’s too hard on their body (of course, they’re also probably running 100+ miles a week).
Maybe it’s a runner’s version of FOMO? Fear of missing out, for those that don’t know. Or the runner’s version of keeping up with the Joneses — if Mary can run a marathon every week, surely I can run a half every week, right?
So read on, but keep in mind I’m not a coach, medical professional, yadda yadda yadda.
If you got sick and had to stop running for a week, would you go out and just run as hard as you possibly could your first run back? I hope not.
Recst does a lot of things for our bodies:
- Helps prevent illness
- Helps prevent injury
- Helps us to continue training
- Helps us to improve
- Helps prevent burn out –physically and mentally
Rest is where the magic happens
It seem pretty simple, right? You train hard, you improve. But life isn’t simple, is it? How many of you have trained really hard and not seen improvement (raises hand). There are many reasons, of course, but not resting could actually be holding you back from improving.
Why? Running is actually somewhat like weight lifting: it actually “breaks” your body down, and the rest allows your body to “rebuild” itself and become stronger. When we take the time to rest, and our bodies are allowed to adapt to the work we’ve done, we become fitter.
Ignore that need for rest, and you’ve stressed out your body but not allowed it to recover — opening the door to exhaustion, illness, injury — or all three.
YRMV (your recovery may vary)
Your rest may not look like my rest. Maybe you need one rest day a week — really, even God rested on the seventh day. Or maybe you need two rest days. Maybe you need one every 10 days.
I really loved this article from Coach Jenny. She shows so clearly why it’s important to tailor your recovery to you and your personal situation.
The bottom line is to pay attention to what your body’s telling you.
Next week I’ll be back to give you some signs that you’ve recovered enough — or haven’t. Until then, here are a few more posts about recovery:
To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy. — Hippocrates
You have to go easy to go hard.
Do you even think about rest?
Do you build a rest day into your workout calendar?
Have you had a time when lack of rest had a negative impact on your life?