I’m sure you’ve been crushing your long runs, giving big efforts on your tempo runs and speed work, but maybe you’re starting to feel some tightness and soreness creeping in at times. What is the first step to preventing this from becoming an injury situation that keeps you from finishing your training and reaching your goals on race day?
Why do you want to do this you might ask? Well for one reason, resting is when you get faster! All of your training is a stress to your body, this makes your tired, sore and decreases your ability to hold efforts in training. When you rest, the adaptations take place and you bounce back ready to go harder and stronger than before. Another benefit is that all that soreness from the great training you’re doing is going to decrease. You’re going to be more comfortable and that will translate to more productive workouts.
So, how do you incorporate rest into your training?
Professional triathlete Jesse Thomas shared some tips with Competitor Group:
Go way easier on your easy days.
Not every workout needs to be a personal best, your hard workouts should be HARD and your easy ones should be really, really, really easy. You’re training for a big effort on a single day, not a multi-day event like a cycling stage race.
Change the plan when your mind or body aren’t up to it.
If you have a long run or intense track session planned but the kids are sick, work went late and you skipped lunch, change the workout or push it to another day when the workout can be more productive for you.
The single biggest difference between professional endurance athletes and amateurs is sleep. It’s hard to do; between family obligations, work, home maintenance and watching the Olympics every night, but if your motivation is dropping and the body is feeling sore, get some extra sleep. Even if it means skipping a workout here or there, remember the workouts are the stimulus for improvement, the actual improvement comes when we rest. Just a little bit adds up fast, one of my cycling friends once pointed out to me that just an extra 15 minutes of sleep a night is an extra hour and 45 minutes of sleep in a week.
When should you rest and how should you rest?
Blog post by Eric Wheeler.
About Eric Wheeler MSPT MPE CSCS
Eric joins the Cape Cod Rehab Running Team with an extensive list of athletic accomplishments including 2x Ironman finisher with a PR of 10:09:05. He earned a Boston Qualifying time for 2016 with a marathon PR of 3:06:27. A Physical Therapist and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Eric enjoys helping injured runners get back on their feet. It’s hard to believe Eric only started running in 2010 because everyone at Cape Cod Rehab was excited about the Falmouth Road Race! His motto: “Never judge your life because of one bad day. Judge it because of the BEST DAY.”