It is such a great feeling to see you get excited about the long runs, new distances and weekly speed/tempo workouts. I like seeing your “warrior beast” come out when you are instructed to run a dozen hills or a hard tempo run. I have noticed you finish with an excelled sense of confidence and pride. Although, it might not sound as exciting of an accomplishment as the ones listed above, it is imperative to take time to recover and rest.
Recovery is when you take time to rest after a long run or speed/tempo workout, or when you take a day off during your training program. Rest and recovery is a very important part of the plan! Most injuries come from overuse. Rest or easy weekly recovery miles can prevent you from heading down that road, which obviously we want you to avoid. Rest allows your body adapt to the work you have put in. A day off around every seven days restores glycogen, builds strength, and can reduce fatigue. It is also a time when you can mentally step away from the work and recharge your battery.
When you take your easy days seriously, you will be amazed at how much more you have to give on the days that you are asked to push hard. I have been asked, how do you know if you are recovering properly? Some signs that your body needs more rest and recovery are; sudden weight loss (training time is not a time to diet!!), an elevated resting heart rate, interrupted or lack of sleep (you may find you need more), dehydration, low energy, pain or soreness, or a bunch of bad workouts.
I recommend keeping a log of how you are feeling before, during, and after your runs and workouts if you are questioning your recovery and rest time. Also, please don’t wait to talk to one of your coaches, we are here to support you! So not only do I want you to show up as focused and determined on your speed/hill days and your long runs, I want you to be just as disciplined on your rest and recovery days. When you mix all of these important elements into your training, you ultimately will have a more effective and successful race and I know that is what we all want!