Rest…..it’s time for a nap! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
As much as it feels like you need to get your training in, you need to remember that your body needs rest. While you are pounding the pavement, remember your joints need rest too. It might seem like you will get out of your mojo, but in fact you will become a stronger and more healthy runner. Just remember, rest doesn’t always mean go lay in bed, on the couch, or my favorite the bench swing in the back yard.
I have read and used the advice that the body needs a day off from the grind to restock your glycogen stores, build strength, and reduce fatigue. We are too are good at over use of our bodies. As I have been running for a few years now I have over trained a time or two. My body never felt like it would recharge and I always felt like I was in a rut. Don’t feel bad that your body needs a break, listen to your body it will tell you when it’s time for a little R&R. Try some yoga, swim, or maybe even a nice walk with the wife and kids. Learn to love your day off from everything, it can help clear your mind and body. Some good indicators that your body needs a break are:
1. Your mood seems to be different than normal, your cranky, or you may be more irritable. More rest can clear the brain.
2. Are your legs hurting every time you go out for a run, even on short runs. Your body might not be getting enough rest to recharge those muscles.
3. You seem to be getting sick more than normal? You might be using all your bodies’ resourses in rebuilding your muscles so your immune system is having a hard time fighting off that cold.
4. Take a look at your hydration, are you taking in enough liquid to help recover and maintain the amount of h2o that your body needs. A simple indicator can be your pee. This might not work for everyone but if it's dark yellow, you need to get more fluids in.
5. Last but not least, are you just felling run down, not enjoying the runs and maybe not enjoying the things that normally bring you happiness. I think this is one of the biggest indicators that your body needs some rest.
Its comes down to getting to know your body. We all are built different. If we could all pick how are bodies performed, I would like to be like Dean Karnazes. (Check out his website. www.ultramarathonman.com.) We need to find the time to get the rest we need to become stronger, healthier runners. There are many studies out there that tell us that we don’t get the sleep that we need, so my advice to you is listen to your body and get some R&R. Instead of running take a nap. Enjoy.