Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 19 - Rest Miles

I read once that there are quite a few doctor's who smoke.

I feel a little like one of those doctors. I give great advice to lots of runners that I don't follow myself.

The nugget of wisdom that comes to mind is the value of rest days.

I firmly believe that runners know their bodies better than anyone. We are in tune with our bodies. They speak to us.

My problem is, too often I don't listen. Today, I'm listening.

I'd had an unofficial goal to keep every run in this little game at least 2 miles. Seemed easy. It's just 2 miles. But I've been noticing fatigue building up and the slightest whispers of overuse injuries on the horizon. Runners' bodies need rest days. 2 miles isn't a rest day. One easy mile, very easy, is a rest day.

I think I'll call them "rest miles."

What I've been doing is exactly the wrong thing. The same thing over and over and over, Not enough to feel satisfied, but enough to wear me down. That's what leads to injuries, not to mention boredom. I need to mix it up.

So today, I ran just over a mile. I'm programming in rest miles. These one mile runs will be warm-ups for something else. Today it was some serious stretching. Felt great.

Another couple of rest mile days and I'll be ready to start inching up my distance, with more rest mile days to back them up. I'll be able to work on my speed, because I'll have a rest mile the next day to recover. I'll even be able to throw in some races.

I'm sure my other unofficial goals will be challenged as well (running only outside, staying off of treadmills), but this one had to go or I wouldn't have made it through 365 days.

Plus, this gives me a chance to actually train, get stronger, get faster, all that good stuff that comes with running smart and not just plodding through the same run day after day.

I'm learning from my mistakes. I feel like such a grown up.

Good running,

Numbers: 1.1 miles at 8:30 pace (probably a bit too fast)