Average Jane Runs

I'm just like you. And that's okay!

St. Jude Marathon 2011 – Training Day 1 – REST DAY

I don’t know that I’ve ever begun training with a rest day, but my plan worked out as such. After the week I’ve had, I’m not complaining!

I’ve been chatting on Facebook and Twitter a lot lately about rest. Rest is not just nice every now and then when you’re training, it’s crucial to training. While you’re resting, your body is working to recover from the stress of exercise. It’s the same reason we sleep. Our bodies need that down time to recuperate and refresh for the next day’s activities (unless you’re a parent, in which case you replace sleep with lots of coffee and tears).

So if it’s such a simple idea, why is it so hard for us to take a day off sometimes?

Most training plans have at least one scheduled rest or “easy” day (if yours doesn’t, it should). But what happens when we only get two hours of sleep or have this nagging pain in our heel and have a 4-miler scheduled? Do we run? Do we rest? How do we judge? If we do miss a run, how do we let go of the guilt?

Here are some questions that help me decide to rest or to run:

1. Do I feel dizzy?

2. Do I feel irritable to the point of tears?

3. Am I in pain (not just achy)?

4. Did I get less than four hours of sleep last night?

If I can answer YES to one or more of these questions, I’m probably taking a rest day. Some of them I may throw around my brain for debate, but for the most part, I think they’re a good general guideline for me. That said, I’m not always good at following my own advice. I have run when I shouldn’t have…I have rested when I should have run.

Ultimately the decision is up to you. The key is listening to your body and knowing your limits.

And the guilt…ah, the guilt of a missed run. How do we let it go?

We keep going.

2 Responses to “St. Jude Marathon 2011 – Training Day 1 – REST DAY”

  • Julianne says:

    You’re doing the St. Jude Marathon here in Memphis?!
    If you’re not from here you are MORE than welcome to stay at my place the weekend of the race!!!

    • AJ says:

      Yep. We’re actually in the Memphis area (within an hour anyway) but thanks so much for the offer! Are you racing that day?

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