This week has been a surprisingly full-on week for me!
I’ve really enjoyed being able to run consistently again, after a period of injury. I’ve been lucky to meet up (within guidelines!) with good friends, to walk and chat. Even back to outdoor 1:1 training with my own Coach. I am also working hard to get ready to re-open for business soon, and that does take a lot of computer time, especially coming out of lockdown having made big improvements and updates!
So, this morning I’d planned a 3-mile easy run. I started but after half a mile I knew it wasn’t going to be happening. So, I headed home.
This time last year, in this situation I might have forced myself to run. Or if I had stopped, I would have been so annoyed. But today I am happy with my decision because I am listening to my body. I have finally learnt to rest, not to quit!
Can you see where I’m going with this?
It’s important to realise that our body accumulates all those little stressors, our body recognises any type of tiredness, whether it is from concentrating, thinking and worrying, in just the same way as it recognises the fatigue caused by running and an intensive training schedule. It all adds up.
If you’re forcing yourself to go out, feeling guilty for not going, or simply running because your plan is telling you that you “should”, then it’s time for a little rest day. These are all signs of the beginnings of burning out.
Often the simplest thing – just one extra rest day – can be the best thing you can do!
One of the first things to work on if you are keen to be a happier and more relaxed runner is learning to take a step back when you need to. Realise the plan isn’t the boss – it probably wasn’t designed with your own individual lifestyle and stress level being accounted for.
I’m not saying tear up your training plan, just remember it isn’t written in stone!
If you need to, take a step back, look at the bigger picture and check in with yourself and how you really feel about heading out to run. Allow yourself the flexibility of a day off, or shorten your run, switch a fartlek session to an easy run or even a walk! You can decide!
Listen to your body this week, before, during and after your run and keep a note of how you feel about each session. (*If you don’t keep already keep a training journal I recommend it – now is a perfect time to start!)
“When you get tired, learn to rest – not to quit”