I’ve never had a running season quite like the one I’ve had this year. Before this year, I had never run more than 3 races in a year; this year I have run 9 races. It’s been an amazing year that pushed me to do things that I never thought possible. I finished my goal race at Haliburton and then even squeezed in running a marathon at Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon Toronto but then it was very clear that I needed to take a break.
A break is an essential part of any training schedule to have some down time to refocus and figure out what’s next. Also with making it through the year mostly injury free, I wanted to give my muscles some time to recover. My coach encouraged me to take at least 3 weeks with absolutely no running. Even if I didn’t need it physically, which I did because I was verging on a couple of overuse injuries, it’s important mentally for a rest and to let the schedule training go for a little while.
So it was decided that it was running break time. And while I have been taking a break, I have not been sitting on the couch for the last three weeks. Doing no physical activity is a good way to lose your fitness really quickly but as long as you are still being physically active, you won’t lose a lot of it. I have been trying to embrace not having to strictly follow a schedule. I’ve doing what I want to do. I have actually had time for swimming, yoga and going classes at the gym more regularly. Earlier this week, I left work early and biked the long way home that is through a trail that I’ve never made time to bike home through.
Recovery is really important not just physically but mentally, training is hard. Being disciplined enough to do all the scheduled runs and always finding time to fit all that running into your week is tough. It’s a nice break to be able to do what I want when I want and bring some variety into my schedule. I’ve had lots of time to make meal plans, take my dog on long walks and read, it’s been quite a novelty!
I am at the end of my 3 weeks and I am starting to get really antsy about not running so I think it’s almost time to get back out there. But when I’m in the middle of 100 mile training, I know that I will be really appreciative that I took this break.
Do you take a break in your training schedule?