As you may be aware, I’m preparing myself to reach a personal record (PR) in the Dallas Marathon in Dec 2015 (I’m doing the half 😉 ). If you want to catch up on my training over the last three weeks you can check them out by clicking the links below:
Welcome to week 4. This week was all about recovering. Before delving into my week of recovery, I want to take some time to discuss the subtle differences between rest and active recovery.
When I think of rest, I usually think of sleep and not working out. That seems pretty straight forward. I really enjoy my rest days from running and/or working out and try to do as little as possible on those days when I can ;-). In reading the article, “What’s the Difference Between Rest and Active Recovery“, they referred to active recovery as “taking a nap”. During active recovery you want to focus on low intensity workouts.
This week, I sort of put what my old running coach had taught me into action. He always talked about the importance of allowing the body to repair itself. Since I had been going pretty strong for the last three weeks, week 4 was set up to allow me to engage muscles that may have been sore or just worn out. I can tell you after my half on Sunday, my body was screaming (I’m not sure if it was because of the different terrain). So I was looking forward to week 4 and paying special attention to helping my body repair itself, via active recovery. Even though my training plan is similar to the previous weeks, the intensity was dialed down a lot this week.
As I stated above, Sunday’s half marathon had me feeling really sore. I often wonder if it was because I was only in week 3 of training and my body has to get back used to running that distance again (makes sense, if you have any input please share in the comments below, thanks). Needless to say, I included a rest day today after having just finished the half marathon the day before. As I’m sure you are aware, rest is a part of recovery. I mean how can you take a nap without going to sleep 🙂 ).
Once again, I passed on running. My training plan had me set to do a five mile run, but I just wasn’t feeling it yet. I did show my hamstrings some love with my handy dandy foam roller.
Having not ran since Sunday morning, it sure felt good to be back on the pavement. I met up with my BGR! sole sistahs and was able to do 400 meter intervals. My training plan only called for six intervals.
You know I love my Thursday morning runs. Even though it was raining Rachel and I met up at 430 and got in a total of 5 miles. With it being Thursday, a couple of more ladies joined us at 5 to get in some miles. After my five mile run, I ended up walking over a mile and a half.
I was supposed to ride the bicycle this morning but I didn’t. Now today, I was just being plain lazy. I didn’t meet my sole sistahs for a run or bike ride 😦 . I was able to get in some ab work and used my foam roller again that morning.
My plan was to get my long run in but the weather coming off of Hurricane Joaquin had other things in mind. It rained all Saturday morning. Yes I run in the rain but I really hate starting in the rain (I will but I didn’t LOL), especially when I still have one more day left in the week to get things done. Boy was I wrong.
The rain was falling down like sheets. Falling so hard, that there was no way I would be able to run an actually see what was in front of me. Anytime I run, I think of a few things to help me make my decision to go out:
- Am I putting myself in danger (when I run by myself, late in the evening or during a storm), which may make it impossible to get back to Diallo.
- Is it really that serious to get your run in now (usually this is always YES).
Hurricane Joaquin was a major hurricane. Even though the center of the storm stayed well off shore, the winds and the rain were a big issue for us in South Carolina. Looking around at what was going on around me (flooding, deaths, evacuations, rescues, power and water outages), I was okay with not getting a run in. Folks are losing their lives and livelihood because of this disaster. The President declared the State of South Carolina a state of emergency.
Check out some of the areas that we run; flooded.
Even though I didn’t get my long run in this week, you can really see how my recovery week really took shape. I incorporated rest days (more than what I anticipated) and utilized active recovery techniques (running at a lower intensity). It doesn’t look like I’m alone in the recovery process. Folks in South Carolina will now have to focus on recovering after Hurricane Joaquin.
Can you help?
Michael Boot Camp Thomas, of Columbia Fitness Boot Camp, is hosting a charity boot camp to help flood victims in South Carolina. The event will take place at the State House on October 24, 2015 with a minimum donation of $10. All proceeds will go to the Harvest Hope Food Bank. Please come out and get your workout on.
Please remember that it is just as important to have planned rest and recovery days throughout your training. Check out some tips below from Runners World.
Tips for your recovery plan:
- One day a week, NO alarm clock. Wake up when you wake up.
- Cross-train activities: swim, do yoga, take a stretching class, spend more time foam rolling. All of these activities should complement your running.
- Do all the chores you put off while training for your goal race.
- Analyze your training log so you can tailor a training plan specific to your needs. What were your strengths? What were your weaknesses? Where do you want to improve? Write in recovery days and recovery activities to your new plan.
- Monitor your resting heart rate daily- if your RHR is elevated, it’s a sign you may need more recovery time.
- Listen to your breathing while exercising- if you are huffing and puffing on an “easy” run, time for recovery
- Get adequate sleep- this is the time our body restores. Try to get between 7 and 9 hours a night. Not being able to sleep can be a sign of over-training.
- Adequate nutrition- including plenty of protein, which is necessary for muscle repair, and complex carbohydrates for energy
- Notice your moods and emotions- feeling irritable or depressed may mean more recovery time is needed. Keep your training enjoyable.