So just two days into my half-marathon training and I’m SORE! I have been drinking water, stretching and eating bananas but I guess it’s just inevitable. Unfortunately for me, I forgot how much pain is involved in training and should have expected to be somewhat sore right away. Ironically in spite of the pain I feel lucky that I can run and as the quote goes, “I run simply because I can – When I get tired, I remember – those who can’t run, and what they’d give to have this precious gift that I take for granted. – Then, I run even harder – I know they would do the same for me.”
For a long time after I had my son, I hated running. I loathed my sneakers, watch and spandex (although I still hate spandex.) But even despite the soreness in my quadriceps, I’m loving it again. There are still some days that I find myself reciting the above quote to keep myself moving but I actually smile at people while I run (except for you jerks with your big dogs hogging the sidewalks and letting them assault my legs).
At the height of my running (pre-baby) I would run at least six straight days a week and sometimes I’d go up to three weeks of running straight – I didn’t really know that you were supposed to take breaks. Now that my legs are a little older, I recognize that I need those breaks even more. I know what some people are thinking: it’s hard to get out of the rhythm of running every day. For myself, my nagging worry is that by taking just one day of rest will bump me back into my rut of laziness. However, you should take note that this is bollocks. Rest days are critical to build strength and prevent fatigue. According to Runners World, “Without recovery, adaptation may occur short-term, but ultimately it will fail. And since most injuries come from overuse, a day of cross-training, rest, or easy miles can prevent three-or four-week forced breaks caused by, say, ITB syndrome.” Who in their right mind would neglect rest days with the thought of freaking IBM on the horizon??
Some running plans have two rest days, but if you’re not interested in two, incorporate at least one full rest day. The benefits far outweigh the troubles that come with overuse injuries and possible mental burnout. Now, if you’re totally against a complete rest day, you can complete 20-30 minutes of exercise at 60% max heart rate (runnersworld.com)
Now, I myself don’t mess around with rest days. A rest day is an off day and usually my “cheat” day. On days like today, when my muscles are sore I look forward to my cheatrest-day of being lazy, watching my shows and eating everything I want!
So, bottom line, make time to give your body a rest. It’s normal to be sore, but if you don’t want to burn out give it a rest, eh?