Each week in the training for the half marathon we add and go a greater distance. But the day before our longest run of the week, we have a day of rest. I used to think that rest was for wimps–that if you couldn’t keep it up 24/7 you were not cut out for the tough stuff. By no means have I arrived, and I know that I am not a super fitness guru. But, after having three children, completing the original P90X three times with amazing results–go Beach Body and Tony Horton; dabbling with Insanity; being a Zumba fanatic and instructor; and now a half marathon runner trainee, rest is probably the biggest secret weapon there is in fitness.
What I have learned from all of these great ways to get in shape, is that times of rest will pave the way for the greatest training successes. Rest allows your muscles to recover, rebuild, and strengthen. You can actually do more damage than good if you over train and don’t allow your body time to rest. Over training can lead to fatigue, depression, burnout, increased risk for injury, and that’s just to name a few–been there done that!
I want to maintain the passion, love, and excitement I have for staying fit, and that means I need to include a time of rest. After each time of rest, I find I feel stronger, more powerful, and ready to face the next big challenge. Resting is most definitely not for wimps.
Note to self: Lesson #13 – The greatest secret weapon in training is knowing how to rest.
P.S. Last week I ran a total of 16 miles–Monday, 3.5 miles; Wednesday, 4.5 miles; Thursday, 2.0 miles; and Saturday, 6.0 miles. That is the most I have ever run within a 7 day period; there was also some walking and a bit of relaxation swimming in there too!