You’ve worked hard. You’ve put in the miles. You can go on all night long. You’re unstoppable, unbeatable…… Hold up! Before you continue, ask yourself: “Am I getting enough rest?”
I understand that when runners are “on a roll”, they go all out. No time to sit around and slack. After all, how can we achieve our goals or be great if we take days off? We should be doing what others are NOT doing. Well, not quite. No matter the intensity of your workout/run/exercise, we all need to rest.
I am guilty of being one of those hard-core, no rest, do or die runners. I hate taking days off. It feels horrible, different and somewhat incomplete. I guess it is comparable to people needing their morning coffee kick. I need my adrenaline kick from running! I schedule 1-2 rest days a week. For the rest of the week, I’m either running or doing some sort of activity. The problem with me is that other than my scheduled rest days, I don’t allow myself to rest even when I need to (due to sickness, fatigue, injury etc…). Two weeks ago, I injured my right calf muscle. It was feeling tight and I couldn’t even flex the muscle. Even then, I didn’t take extra days off other than the two scheduled rest days. I continued to run and the pain lingered for a good two weeks.
So I guess this post is a subtle reminder to myself and everyone else out there with the same problem. Listen to your body! Nobody knows you better than you. Sometimes we just don’t feel like moving. Maybe it’s the hormones, workload or stress. Whatever it is, it is okay to give yourself a break. Instead of mourning over it, take advantage of it. Eat, sleep, laze around, go for a massage or anything that would get you back in the game. Just don’t overdo your rest days. Once you’re done resting, get back to the grind. Feel that pump!
If you’re still as hard-headed and crazy as I am, you can opt to decrease the intensity of your workout/run/exercise. That was what I probably should have done. Instead, I was smashing it on the roads and marching up the hills (of which I paid for in the form of pain).
Guys, take it from me. Your body is already stressing out from trying to repair those torn muscles. Don’t subject your body to more unwanted stress.
So, TAKE A DAY OFF! (But only after you’ve put in the hard work!)