Monday morning – an official day off from training ….

I used to subscribe to the philosophy that improvement comes from constant training.  Over the past few months, I’ve radically changed that way of thinking.  I now understand that improvement comes from variety – including days of rest.

When I first started running, all my runs were training runs – only the distance varied.  I had a 3-mile, 5-mile and 7-mile route.  I’d run these with equal (or as close to equal as possible) intensity.   If I was tired, I’d run the 3-mile loop.  On Saturdays (always Saturdays) I’d run the 7-mile loop.  If I didn’t have a good run, it wasn’t due to overtraining, it was because I was weak and needed to work harder.  I know better now (@ least I’m starting to .. this is a work in progress).

Today is my day off from running.  In the past, a day off would have induced something close to withdrawal symptoms – shakes, excess engergy, irritability … seriously – I’d be a huge pain in the ass.  However, at this moment, I couldn’t be more relaxed.  I’m developing my workouts for the rest of the week.  I have my bike next to me and I’m figuring out a way to work it into a Thursday or Friday workout.  I’m enjoying today for what it is – a chance to recover, reflect and prepare for the days ahead.

Mentally and physically, accepting a day of rest into my training has been my biggest improvement.