I’m pretty decent about taking one full day off per week, understanding that the rest lets my muscles get the full benefits of all the hard training I did the week before.
Know what I’m not so good about? Step-back weeks, the entire weeks where you step back in mileage and intensity after two hard weeks of training, are components of basically every marathon-training program known to man. Problem is, I’m not following a training plan right now, since my stubbornly sore IT band has forced me to put my Marine Corps Marathon training on hold for the moment. This means I’ve basically been plowing through my training willy-nilly, often beating the crap out of myself for no reason, with very little rest after.
Case in point: On Sunday, I did two hours of lifting and core work, telling myself doing a 5-minute plank on the BOSU was the equivalent of the 14-mile run I was missing. This followed a week of hard running and swimming, and I’d planned to follow it up with — yep, a week of hard running and swimming.
Then, my body rebelled with a nascent cold. I’m not sick yet, but my body’s considering whether to give in to the aches and congestion that have stopped in for a visit. For once, I’m being smart, and am chilling out this week to prep for the Crystal City Twilighter 5K on Saturday night. I’m considering it a sort of forced taper, or a nasty reminder that my unofficial “training plan” should include some step-back weeks, too.
How do you incorporate rest into your training? Share your strategies by posting a comment below.