It’s time for the occasional reminder to myself that races aren’t won in the middle of winter and that recovery is a key element of a successful training cycle. Even more so as you grow older. Those niggling injuries or aches don’t fade quite so quickly.
This all sounds so basic and cliche but it’s the thing I often find myself wrestling with the most. I like to workout. I like to go hard. I like to sweat. I like to feel tired. I don’t like to take a day off. Even if I know it’s probably what’s best and that I’m not going to lose fitness with an extra day or even two a week. In fact, it might end up improving it instead.
So shut up and listen, Mike, these are the important bits.
- Hard training and racing take a tremendously hard toll on your body and mind even if you aren’t a world-class athlete.
- Rushing back into training right after a hard race, even when it goes well, is a risky strategy.
- Knowing when to back off is just as important as knowing went to push.
- Your body isn’t stupid. It’s actually pretty good at telling you what you need. Remember when you ignored it back in 2015? Yeah, don’t do that again. Take the day off.
- Choosing to rest when you’re feeling weary, burned out, or a little banged up, might be tough in the moment but can save you from a world of hope (and a much longer layoff) down the road.
- One day might not be enough. Overtraining can be a big hole to climb out of. Remember to respect the recovery.
That’s it. Simple, but easy to overlook. Until you get injured and then you feel stupid for not just taking the one day off. Don’t be stupid.