» Taking a Break to Recover

Taking a Break to Recover

January 29, 2012 | Steven McElwee

I took one week off from running to recuperate. I started the week with pain in my left foot that made it difficult to even walk. When my foot was almost functional again, I came down with a stomach virus that put me out of commission for another three days. Everything I read says you must listen to your body and not push yourself to run too hard. I took this advise and took the week off.

I did my first run on a Saturday, which is normally reserved for my long run. Instead, I ran my short run distance, and at a slower than normal pace. Was I glad I did. When I was done running, my calves were sore. In fact, they remained sore the next day. It was nothing serious, but when I think that I normally run double the distance at a faster speed, it was a little discouraging.

The lesson that I learned through this is that it is truly good to listen to your body and take breaks, but it doesn’t take much time at all to lose ground and go backward in your strength and speed. If you are planning to take a short break, make sure you recognize the time and effort it will take to ramp back up. If a one week break had this much impact, I cannot imagine what a longer break would do.

Keep running. Take breaks only when you must, and ramp back up slowly.

2 Comments

Cassie on March 7, 2012 at 10:41 pm.

1. How many miles do you run to work on a single day? The ehsrtsot distance to work is 3 km but for the commute run in to work I’ll run 40-60 minutes and then take 15-35 minutes run home.2. Do you run the same distance home—or do you catch a ride or take public transportation home? Usually a shorter distance home. If I run to work the I run home.3. How many days a week do you run to work? 1-5 days. If I don’t run then I bike and run during the work day.4. When did you start running to work? As an undergrad in college in the early 80’s5. What was your reason for starting to run to work? Why not? It takes time to get to work anyways and I can make a nice run out of it.6. What is the most challenging aspect of your foot commute? No challenge, really, except for the extra workout on a winter morning after a heavy snowfall when the bike paths aren’t yet plowed.7. What is the best aspect? The time shortly after breakfast is my favorite time to run, and it is nice feeling to have run before starting to work . The run home is a short bonus run; it’s also nice to loosen up the body after work with a run home.8. How long do you expect to continue running to work? I’ll run for as long as I can, and I’ll run to work as long as I have to work.

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Steven on March 11, 2012 at 8:22 am.

That’s a lot of running. You must be in great shape. I would love to run or bike to work, but I live about 45 miles from work. Thanks for commenting.

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