Intentional Rest from Running and What's ahead
I'm coming to the end of two weeks off from running. I know that resting is important, you can't push hard unless you rest. Going into the two weeks I thought I'd run a few times because I'd be itching to run. I thought I might join a gym to get a jump on strength training (which I tend to ignore when the miles increase) and get back to some of my physical therapy foundational moves.
I did none of that.
I didn't run. I didn't join a gym. I did one five minute session of physical therapy moves and played around with my new Wreck Bag. And I went for one run with a new running buddy. That's it.
And I didn't miss running.
Sometimes when you're in the middle of a training cycle you can't imagine not running. You miss it so much when you're recovering or injured or returning to running after a baby. But I didn't feel any of that. I didn't miss running at all.
That kind of surprised me. I honestly feel like I could not go back to running (did I just say that??). That I could just not do it ever again and I'd be fine. Like if something happened tomorrow and I wasn't able to ever run again. I'd be OK.
[Tweet ".@runfargirl took two weeks off from running and she didn't miss it...what?!"]
I never thought that was possible, but I think it's a good sign. A sign of balance. I LOVE running. It's very much a part of me. But running isn't everything.
I don't long for longevity in my running. I don't have my heart set on running when I'm 80.
What I do want to be able to do when I'm 80 is snowshoe through the woods, under pine boughs bent low with snow. I want to still be able to hike to high peaks that afford breathtaking vistas. But running? Probably not. Unless you count running after grandkids.
What I do want to do is see what my body is capable of in the next few years if I take the time to build methodically towards a goal. For a very long time I fought against my body, we were at war. Over the last seven years I've learned to nourish and treat my body with respect for what it can do. I'd like to test those limits and see what happens when I pair my relentlessness with proper training.
The two weeks off came as my first assignment from my new coach (lest you think this resting thing was my idea;), Chris Dunn owner of Acidotic Racing in New Hampshire. Up until this point I've been self coached with input from the coach associated with my running club the Rochester Runners. This is the first time I've sought out a coach. It's exciting and a relief to have someone else calling the shots--especially when it comes to rest.
I've enjoyed these two weeks--they have been a really good mental and physical break. I'll start to ease back into training next week with unstructured running. The assignment: just run without expectation, three times a week.
Sometimes we're so afraid to take breaks from running because we're worried about the losing fitness. I thought nothing of that during this break. Sure I've lost fitness, but one of my favorite parts of running is the build up, the base building and the hard work that goes into getting into shape. That work is what I'm looking forward to.
Is resting a part of your training?Have you ever taken an intentional extended break from running?
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com