Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Embracing Rest and Recovery
If you are not a runner or a triathlete or an otherwise OCD addicted exercise fanatic like myself, you might not want to waste time with this post as it deals with the struggles and acceptance of that evil word: REST. Most normal humans have no problem resting, in fact, recent estimates are that 65% of the US population does ABSOLUTELY NO EXERCISE AT ALL and that 97% cannot even run a 5k, scary! However, for us "crazy people" resting and recovering does not come easily. Now, this does not mean I do not know the physiology and psychology of how exercise works (stimulus, micro damage, rest, repair, adaptation and then do it all again), it is the ACCEPTANCE of this process that is tough for me!
As you all know by now, I LOVE to exercise, especially run, so try to remember taking time off is taking time off from an enjoyable hobby (imagine your golf clubs being in the "Golf Club Spa" or where ever they go to be tuned up, waxed and cleaned - can you tell I am not a golfer) for a month during prime golf season (spring?) so you know how a few days off feels to me. Also, exercise makes me feel good and makes me a better boss (I think), husband (I know), father (I know) and overall person. When I don't do it, I suck at all 4!
This is where it was a really, really good idea for me to hire a coach! Most people hire coaches and trainers for motivation and program design, I work with mine (a little plug to Matt Rose at dynamomultisport.com, look him up if you are even thinking about getting into endurance sports, he is the BEST) specifically to make me take recovery breaks and taper correctly for my races. He also helps me tweak my training plans but I really am much smarter than him so I just let him do that so he feels better about himself.
So, after this past Sundays 4 hour run (absolutely amazing, snow everywhere except the trails, about 20 degrees, felt so good I was singing at hour 3.5 out loud, thank the lord I was solo at this point) and a total of about 10 hours of running last week, I am taking a recovery week this week (he has me doing one every 3 weeks during this lead up to my 50 miler) and I have to admit, I really don't hate it as much as I used to. Probably because I am training so much I really need it (that helps) and I still get to train daily, just lower volume and intensity.
10 weeks to go, the "real" stuff starts in the next training cycle. I will keep you posted........
Blessings to all,