Monday, October 24, 2005

YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE

Everywhere I look lately it’s the same story; people have just finished their season (many with marathon PRs) and they’re jumping right back into training. Some are getting hurt, some are getting depressed, some say they feel fine but they also say getting in the mileage is a struggle (Hmm, sounds like me after Grandma’s).

Why are we so reluctant to take time off?

I have a friend who’s got a nagging hip injury. I’ve hounded her over and over – now is the time to rest and let that heal. Why keep tweaking it in September-November (or longer) when your next race isn’t until April? Last week she sent me an article from Active.com on none other than taking time off at the end of the season.

Ron Daws recommends taking 2-3 weeks off after the season. I mentioned Tony Schiller, the stud triathlete that spoke during our Wellness week. He says;

TAKE ONE MONTH A YEAR (NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER) TOTALLY OFF. NOT ONLY IS THIS A RECHARGE (BODY, MIND, SPIRIT) OF THE BATTERY, IT'S THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE MOMENTUM LATER. ATHLETES WHO REFUSE TO REST NEVER EXPERIENCE LOWS NOR HIGHS...JUST PLATEAUS.

I find that last sentence interesting – and true with regards to my running over the last few years. Looking back I can’t remember the last time I had a really crappy, “man, am I out of shape” race. Nor can I remember any “holy cow, where did that come from” races either.

Last year I took 1 week “off” at the end of my race season. “Off” meaning, I biked 4 times during that period. No I haven't convinced myself to take a month off, however, today is my 9th day off in a row (I did bike once, but only 8 miles to measure a training route). Tomorrow will be my 10th and final day off for this recovery period. Wednesday I’m meeting my friend with the hip ailment. Maybe I can nag her some more about taking time off.

9 comments:

Susan said...

oh my, maybe in late Feb after the Austin Mara, maybe. How close should the marathons and/or half marathons be? I'm getting old, dont have too much time to take off.

Chad Austin said...

I think the amount of time between marathons is an individual thing and it depends on your goals.

I find the older I get, the more I need to have that time off between seasons.

D said...

You are absolutely right! It is SO TOUGH taking time off.

Thomas said...

In case you meant me (amongst others), well, I AM taking time off now - I have no intentions to go running while suffering from gastroenteritis.

I didn't do any running for 4 weeks after the Belfast marathon in May and found coming back difficult. From that I figured it's better to keep some low mileage ( say 20 to 30 miles per week) rather than stopping completely for so long.

Chad Austin said...

Thomas, I'm not going to name names. Like the title of post says "You know who you are."

I'm curious about the differences between taking time off completely versus just cutting mileage drastically. I wonder if there's been any research on that topic.

Sorry to hear about your gastroenteritis. That doesn't sound fun.

brent said...

good advice, thanks. i think i am at the opposite end of the spectrum...i have run 15 miles since Oct. 2 (longest one was 4.6 miles). i should probably get into gear soon(?) but i feel a little less guilty now.

Just12Finish said...

I'm totally with you on this. I usually take the entire December off, since there's always too much eating, too much going on, too many bowl games, and too darn cold to run!

It feels good not having to feel guilty about missing runs, and by Jan 1, I'm all psyched about starting up again.

E-Speed said...

I was sure I was going to bust my foot during Columbus (I was 90% sure I had a stress fracture), but lo and behold it is fine, no worse than normal and now I have found myself with no real excuse to "rest." (I was planning on busting the foot and having to take a month off and see docs etc.) I think the cut back in mileage for a few weeks is going to have to suffice for me. I feel like a sloth if I don't run at least twice a week.

Chad Austin said...

Hey Just12finish, taking all of December off would be awesome (especially here in Minnesota). I just can't bring myself to wait "that long" to take a break. Plus I don't mind the snow/cold that much, at least until it gets to -20.

Elizabeth, I don't think you need an "excuse" for taking time off. Training hard for X months should be enough. As I mentioned to Thomas above, a month of easy mileage may be enough. Maybe I'll try that next year instead.