They say the key to a good life is balance, but are you applying this rule to your running too?
When we work too many long days in a row, we generally (try to) find a way to take some time out and rest. If we don’t eat good food for a number of days in a row, our bodies will tell us to make a change. Whatever the scenario, our minds and bodies will always let us know when we need to change what we are doing.
Our running training is no different. If you follow a training plan/program; have you factored in a rest period on a regular cycle? Have you allowed for your body to make the necessary repairs that it needs to be able to progress and improve?
Including a rest period into your training programs may be far more important than you realize.
I coach someone who used to follow a training plan put together by another person that had him running every single day. There were no rest days and the intensity was high all the time. It is nothing short of a miracle that this person wasn’t injured constantly.
The human body is definitely a supreme machine and is capable of incredible things, but it too needs the opportunity to recover and repair on a regular basis.
The other important thing to be aware of is that taking an easy week from time to time will not have an adverse affect on your progress when it is done strategically. If you are currently training with a high mileage load, you will be pleasantly surprised by what happens in the week after a rest period. Your body has recovered and you are likely to feel your energy levels are much higher along with your pace.
The rest period does not have to be a “nothing” week. The idea is to decrease your work rate for short time, not stop it altogether.
Spacing out the rest periods in your training program so that you get the most benefit does require some specialist knowledge of exercise programming and also understanding of how your body in particular is performing at the time. To get the best results, be sure to speak to your Coach about this or get some advice from someone that knows their stuff if you are unsure.
If you are struggling to increase the distances or the pace you run, a rest might be just the thing you need…