Sometimes less is more when it comes to running. I often feel like as a running-blog community we go through phases together. Everyone will be complaining about the heat or the cold. Everyone is dealing with injuries. Everyone is excited about PRs and races. Everyone is tired of the heat and needs a break from running. I think that’s where many of us are at this point. After enduring the long, cold winter we were all excited to get back to racing. We may have PRed, we may have gotten injured. And then we started to see signs of burnout. So we decide to run less.
and promise to go to yoga more
But that is SO HARD. Right? I decided while at the RRCA training that I was in a perfect spot to slow down and take a few weeks of minimal running. Last week my legs felt super heavy on even the easiest run, my head wasn’t in the right place, and I have 21 weeks until the Philadelphia Marathon. That is almost enough time to train for 2 marathons (although I would not recommend it). So please join me as I think out loud about why its a good idea to cut back for a little while.
Who wants to run for hours in 80 degrees and 90% humidity? I mean I love running and I will run in almost any condition but it is far less enjoyable when I feel like I am swimming through the air and my legs don’t want to move. The only positive to running in this weather is that it will feel easier to run when the weather cools down in the fall. If I take a few weeks off now, I will still have all of August to build a base and enjoy those lovely sweat-filled runs.
It’s Summer! And it’s time to do other fun activities! Compared to the rest of the year my social calendar is jam-packed in the summer months. Between vacations, holidays, visitors, and bachelorette festivities, I think I have something going on all but 2 weekends this summer. It would be nice to not worry about fitting in a long run or not allowing myself that extra glass of wine because of a run.
My body needs a break. This is the main reason for cutting back, and it’s so important. I’ve already run almost 1,100 miles this year. Last year at this time I had run 650. All of those miles will catch up with you. I want to go into my next training cycle well-rested.
Looking ahead. As I said, Philly is 21 weeks away. My broad plan is doing a 12 week training cycle, with 4-6 weeks of base building before it begins. This gives me 3-5 weeks to not worry about training. I have a 5k this weekend but I’m going into it knowing that it won’t be a PR. I’ll push as hard as I feel like I should that day. And I will probably run the Charles St 12 miler as part of my base training. This will be an automatic PR because I have never run that distance before, but it will also give me an idea of where my pace is for a medium-distance run.
Focus on other things. Like cooking. And blogging. And coaching?! Also, maybe I will actually get myself to swim one of these days. I’ll keep doing body pump, yoga, maybe some elliptical as well.
I posted this back in December, when I was taking a break from running
Running isn’t going anywhere. It will be waiting for me when I am ready to get back to training. For now, I’ll keep running a few days a week, 3-5 miles or so at a time. Sometimes less is more. I think I will know when I’m ready to work hard again.
Thanks to Amanda @ Running With Spoons for Hosting!
Do you ever take planned breaks from training?
How do you prevent burnout?