I was reading Jen’s – Running with the Girls – “Let’s Call It A Recharge Week, Shall We” blog post from Monday and it really struck a chord with me.
Her post really made me stop and think that I really need to take some time off from running.
Why: I have run more this year than I have since 1986 and I need some time to allow my body to heal and recharge – for the fall running season.
I have struggled with nagging discomfort in my hamstrings and right hip for almost a month, which are not enough to stop me from running, but at the same time don’t seem to be getting a lot better – while I keep running on them – especially my longer runs. I really don’t want this discomfort to turn into something more.
When I looked back through my running log I haven’t taken more than 2 days off in a row, since back in mid February, when a minor calf strain took me off the roads for 4 days.
After Monday’s long run, my legs just felt tired and during the run, I didn’t seem to have the same snap and go that I usually do.
Also my times on my long runs are slower now then they were earlier in the year, which to me is a sign of tired legs.
A lot like you
I know that a lot of runners are probably in the same boat and would probably say similar things about their running and their bodies now. However, most runners are getting ready for a fall marathon or other races that are important to you this fall.
Which makes us runners believe that we can’t take some down time to let the body heal right now. After all – we can’t afford to miss a week of running and still be ready for that important race – it would undermine our self-confidence – even though physically it might be the best thing for us.
This is the time of year that we tend to really not listen to our bodies and pay for it with even more down-time later.
The reality is that
I don’t have a major race planned beyond a half-marathon and I am very confident about my ability to finish one – How fast I can do one is more the question. My race isn’t until later in October, so other than some local 5K’s or a 10K, I really don’t have any racing planned for early this fall.
This time I believe that I will really listen to my body and do what it is trying to tell me.
Rest and Recharge
The plan is to take Tuesday through Saturday off and run a little on Sunday – if I am pain-free, if not I may extend it until I am.
I am not worried about the lower weekly or monthly mileage that taking 3-5 days off will cause, because in the long run, this rest will allow my body to run better during the upcoming fall racing/running season – which is my favorite time to run!!!
Still it is hard not to run
Yesterday and today are prime examples of this great weather that is coming: low 50′s, low humidity, and bright sunshine in the morning, which are making it tough not to run.
However, I am still walking, doing stuff around the house and not surprisingly the hamstrings and hip are feeling a lot better, just after this short amount of time, so I know that this is what the body is asking for.
I just have to keep smart and not suddenly put on my shoes and head out the door for one of those “spur of the moment” it is too nice not to run – runs.
Here is my quandary though – I really, really want to run the Bond Brook 5K race on Thursday night, but also “know” that I need this down time to give my body a chance to heal and recover.
I just have to figure out if this low-key 5k race on trails is a good thing to do this week or something I need to skip again this week (I missed last week’s trail race due to my NYC trip preparations)? After all it is only 3.1 miles and there are only 2 more left in the series after this one.
The shorter runs have not really bothered me, so it wouldn’t bother me too much as far as healing – it would be more of a check to see how I am doing .
What would you do?
I welcome your suggestions and ideas on this one.