After my race last Saturday, I took a planned break from running. The only other breaks I’ve ever had from running have been forced as the result of injuries. I’ve had a great and very successful year that I am proud of. I raced a lot this year and as a result, my body and mind needed this break. I was looking forward to it. Sleeping in, eating and relaxing what’s not to look forward to? The elites do it and even brag about getting “fat”. Add to that the chaos of the holidays, the timing seemed perfect. The original plan was to start again New Years eve, except PMS, holiday stress and general lack of running blues happened. So for the sake of my own sanity and those around me I had to modify that plan.
The first part of the week went well since I was still sore from my race. I enjoyed all sorts of articles about running, while thinking about my 2016 plans.
Running however, is my meditation and while swimming and biking help, they don’t compare. There is something about being outside in the quiet, surrounded by nature or just being with your best friend as you run. You and the road nothing else. It clears the head and centers the soul. It is magical.
Tuesday I started to get grumpy. “PMS and not running do not mix.” I text my run partner. To which she coyly answers, “You could always run a few easy with me in the morning…” She know me too well- knows my need to run. I ask about her run plans for the rest of the week and reply “Maybe Sunday”. Staying strong I again say, mostly to remind myself, how I really need this break. By Wednesday afternoon I was researching ‘taking a break from running’. A quick google search led me to some great articles assuring me planned breaks were much better than the unplanned injury kind and that on average they seemed to last 1-2 weeks. Some even suggested that it could help my performance such as this one from Runner’s World: http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/take-a-break-for-peak-performance. The RW article also suggested running a few times a week to help stay in shape. So this is what I based my modified plan on. A short run today and then 2-3 short runs next week that will include some pickups in the middle. This should round out 2015
I made it 6 days of no running at all and I am proud of my break. It was great and I will continue to enjoy sleeping in next week but, in a lot of ways it was really hard for me! Other than a peaceful, quiet 10 mile bike ride Christmas morning, biking to work, walking the dog, and taekwondo, I did rest. I only ran a little over 3 miles this morning and my legs and joints felt great! Mentally, I am recharged as well and excited about the upcoming year. It will be tough, but very fulfilling with great adventures. 2016 training will begin 1/4 with a few weeks of slow build up and then marathon training for April. Now that I know what to expect from a planned break, I will be sure incorporate and look forward to several key breaks in the coming year.
Happy Holidays and running!!!