Thursday, August 15, 2013

Over-Training - Gimme a Break!

Hi friends! I'm back from my little "recharging" trip to the woods. I needed to get away for a few days - to shut off the electronics, spend time outside and let everything slow down, quiet down for just a little while. And - wow - Wisconsin is so incredibly beautiful.

Wisconsin River, Spring Green
My body ended up needing a little bit of a rest too, so this trip was perfectly timed. On Saturday morning, I went out for a 17 mile long run - and everything went fine. But on Sunday, my left knee felt locked and my right heel felt bruised. I have no idea why either body part was mad at me - I didn't do anything out of the ordinary on my long run. 

I think two years of constant marathon training has caught up with me. 

With that in mind - I did something I haven't done in a really long time and something that makes me extremely uncomfortable: I didn't run at all during the last four days. Zero miles.

I hate that I am currently experiencing some amount of runner shame as I admit that I didn't log the miles my schedule called for. I did the opposite - I kicked my feet up (because they hurt,) read books, ate trail mix, had a beer or two and tried to keep my mind off of the fact that I wasn't running. Whenever I did think about it, I beat myself up pretty badly - but I had to keep reminding myself that I have also BEATEN MYSELF UP pretty badly by running continuously for a few years.

Over-training is a real thing. More isn't always better, especially if you don't give yourself the proper time to rest and recover. I try to pay attention to my body's needs, but the simple fact of the matter is that training is hard. Sometimes, our bodies are just like:

"HEY YOU - can you give me a break here??"

So - I did exactly that: I gave me a break. A couple days off won't derail all of the work I've put in; it will probably improve my training, because I won't risk a more serious, long-term injury. 

Don't let the imagined guilt of missing a workout stop you from taking care of yourself. You won't get off track with your training because YOU are a dedicated and competitive runner with really big and totally achievable goals - as long as you're not hurt. ;) Plus, sometimes kicking your feet up and taking in the view heals your soul a little bit. That is pretty important. 

Discuss: How do you decide when your body needs a little bit of a break from training? Do you feel guilty about taking that break?


  1. I totally agree that sometimes your body needs a break - and it usually makes training go better! good for you for taking a few days off and recognizing that your body needed that! And a little beer doesn't hurt either. :)

  2. I definitely sometimes feel guilty for taking a break too, but I try to remind myself that it is important to listen to my body and not push to injury -- dealing with that would be so much worse!