Run, Rest, Repeat
For the last two weeks I haven’t done a single runcommute. Given that my last entry was extolling the virtues and joys of runcommunting even in the depths of winter, what has happened? Have I got a whiff of sub-zero temperatures and crumbled quicker than biscuits in a non-RunBox a runner’s rucksack? No, I’m still part of #teamrunbox and I would be out there like a shot if I didn’t have a training plan that said REST across it in big, stubborn letters. I’m being sensible though because I’m in a recovery period at the moment. I know, it’s very boring but I want to encourage you to practice a sustainable runcommute.
The thing is, running can be addictive. The endorphins, the achievements or perhaps just the sheer lack of needing to rely on anything but your own steam, these things can make us keep going even when we know we shouldn’t. Yes, get the bug and enjoy doing things you never thought possible but don’t do it to the risk of being able to carry on doing it in the future. Play the long game.
Thanks to training by runcommute I’ve just finished a season of big races and great results so my two weeks off is at the more extreme end of the spectrum. But whether it’s a big break or just looking after a niggle it’s just as important. It’s a tricky balance between not giving in to every little voice in our head that says ‘just take today off, you’re tired’ or ‘are you sure you didn’t just feel a twinge in you ankle?’ and understanding when we need to give ourselves clear boundaries and quality recovery time. So what can you do? Plan ahead. December and January bring with them lots of articles about runstreaks and resolutions to push harder in the coming year. I’m a big fan of run streaks – I think the consistency they give is excellent and great for habit forming, but you need to go into them with your eyes open and a sensible mindset. In the same way that it’s good to have a plan to run in order to form those good habits, it’s good to plan in your recovery days. That might mean running really easy, running less distance or not running at all. Whatever it is, make a plan.
Also, if something doesn’t feel right, listen and dial your activity back.
Running is not going anywhere so why not make sure you do it in a sustainable manner so you can carry on enjoying it.