Accepting the need to slow down.
One thing I am not very good at is accepting when I need to take my foot off the pedal. I am very guilty of knowing I feel tired but continuing to trudge on through without listening to my body. In my head I know it may be good for me to have an easy week, but I don’t like making that decision myself. I need to be told. Quite frequently I also decide I think I need a week to refresh, then wakeup the following day convinced I feel amazing and I get straight back to doing sessions. Yes this completely defeats the point and is irrational, but it’s how my brain works.
However, I have made the decision that I do need to take a week to refresh, run for as little or as much as want, but keep it all easy. I need to give my body and mind the chance to reenergise so I am eager to go again.
No time like the present.
For the type of person I am, if I am thinking that I might need a week to refresh, I probably do. I enjoy training hard and working towards my goals, so when my brain tells me it really wants a down week, I should probably listen to it. In the current, it is very uncertain as to when racing will restart. No one knows. Therefore, to make sure I am as strong as I can be when the time to race arrives, I need to slow down a bit now. This isn’t just relevant to running. Whilst a lot of is our staying at home, it is very easy to feel like you always need to be doing something. Whether that is baking a new recipe, learning a new skill, or exercising, we are still always on the go even when we don’t think we are. The stress of all the uncertainty is going to be affecting everyone. If you are feeling tired and overly stressed, don’t be afraid to let yourself spend the whole day watching movies on the sofa. Sometimes that is what you need to feel refreshed to go again.
There’s no denying it, training works your body to its limits. If it doesn’t, you are not trying hard enough. And racing, whilst it is so fun, it too pushes your body harder than you ever do in training. Whilst we all love the feeling working your body hard gives you, it takes a lot out of you. The cross country season is always a long one and with the amount of rain we had over the winter, this year’s was a very muddy one. The last time I had a week easy would have to be at the end of August after the track season finished. Therefore, when you think about it, it has been 7 months of pure training and racing, no doubt my body is feeling tired.
Sometimes doing less is actually more. I am confident that having an easy week will do more to my performance than continuing to train with a tired body would. Well, lets hope it does.
A week of easy running is not only to benefit my body, but also my mind. Training is tough and it can be difficult to keep your motivation high at all times; it is ok to admit this. Yes I want to work hard to achieve my goals and progress, but as much as the next person, a time does come where you need a week to remember what it is you love so much about running. So, I am using this week to get my mind back to full motivation so I am raring to go again.
I am actually so excited to have a week to just run. Enjoy the weather without any pressure on hitting times or targets. That will come next week, and already, a day in, I can’t wait for the hard work to return!
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I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!