How I know I need a REST

This week I’ve scheduled a busy training week… alternating run days with strength days… I’ve not scheduled any rest. I’ll get some next week (or this week if I need it)

I did a long run on Sunday and my last rest day was Saturday… now I’m planning to do the following:

Mon: Upper Strength (Gym) & Deadlifts
Tue: 5.7M easy run
Wed: Squat Strength
Thu: 5M easy run
Fri: 25 min speedwork (6×30:120)
Sat: Upper Strength (Gym wi Fit Girl)
Sun: 8M long run

But the thing is – on Monday I was tired after my long run.

I could tell because my eyes were blurry.

I was still able to go to the gym on Monday night, and did a good workout.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday I was a little sore from the gym.

And felt like I needed an early night.

Wednesday morning, I might have done strength training, but instead I slept in.

I woke up through the night both Monday and Tuesday night,

So I figured that sleep was more important than a workout when I was sore.

Wednesday night, if I can muster up the energy, I’ll do a Squat Strength workout at home.

Thursday morning I’ve arranged to meet Gill – 620am which will get me out of bed.

Then lunchtime run on Friday and Gym Strength with Fit Girl on Friday

Before my final long run of my half marathon training on Sunday.

I feel ok for my strength session tonight, but if I see the signs of me needing rest later in the week I might just heed them and change a training day into a rest day – it’s what I call – being flexible.

It all should be fine this week…

…but what are the signs that I need to remember? To listen to my body – to make sure I get enough rest?

When should I make the choice to rest rather than train.

Here are some of the things my body tells me, to tell me I need some rest:

1. Blurry vision – means I’m tired and rest might be an idea.

2. Hunger or lack of energy – means I’m tired and need rest.

3. Sugar cravings – as above, lack of energy, maybe means I need to eat and rest more.

4. Soreness – DOMS, means I need to let my body recover (and maybe get more sleep)

5. Lack of sleep – sleep is recovery time, if I’m not sleeping, I shouldn’t be training.

6. Dehydration – from long runs or training, a sign I should maybe step back from training.

7. Lack of focus – not being able to focus on the job, it’s all very well training, but if you can’t focus in your day job, it’s best to rest and enjoy some social, sleep or recovery time.

8. Overly emotional – if I’m feeling guilty about missing a workout, or emotional about whatever, maybe it’s better to get a balance with some rest or social time.

A very wise woman once described me as …

a train without a driver

…in relation to how I was training (and she was dead right!)

Constantly battering my body with exercise, sure I fed it enough – but I wasn’t taking enough rest.

Lack of rest can lead to illness or injury, so health wise – it’s best to make it a priority.

I know – I’ve learned!

Now I plan and enjoy my rest days: social time, chat time, relaxing time.

Rest should be part of the programme (1-3 days a week),

Especially if like me, you experience some of the above.

Sometimes we think we’re invincible, but the truth is – we’re not.

Rest is as important as running, training and eating and drinking.

And sleep is perhaps even more important than everything!

Life shouldn’t be all about exercise or training – it should be fun, relaxing and social too, with entry of rest time and holidays too.

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