Rest and recovery. Two words that may not register with the most diehard of runners. Not a problem for this Black Dog.
If there is one thing that running for more years than I can remember has taught me – HONOR THY REST DAY. A lot of practice – and colds – has proven that if I push my running to more than 3 or 4 days max, then I am bound to get sick or injured. It’s also inevitable that if I add too much mileage too soon, then Little Miss You-Know-What shows up too.
As I was web-surfing looking for some credible information on the benefits of a little R&R, I came across this article from Runner’s World, (because who wouldn’t love just about anything found in the holy book of running?) One of my favorite parts advised runners should get as much sleep as possible, 10-12 hours a night if possible. And…NAPS! Oh sweet manna from the heavens! FINALLY a justifiable reason for my weekend snoozefests with the Wonder Mutt!
The Black Dog Nap Time Happy Dance was short-lived though, when it was also recommended to foam roll. EVERY. DAMN. DAY. Oh the humanity! To say the love/hate relationship I have with my foam roller leans heavily to the hate side is putting it mildly. I believe I’ve actually seen the hubby cover Calypso’s ears when I’m in the midst of said self-torture.
Ever hit that sweet spot along your IT band when all of a sudden everything just…shifts? In the name of all that is holy, what the crap IS that?!? It’s like all of a sudden my tendons just turned into Silly Putty that some little ankle biting monster kid decided to stretch and mush and beat to a pulp before shoving it in his mouth to chew it into submission. Before of course spitting it back out again to see if you really can mush it into the Sunday comics and pull up the pictures. Quite the image, isn’t it?
Thankfully, that creep-me-out-wtf-IS-that feeling is quickly forgotten with a good dose of pigeons and cows. No no no, not THOSE pigeons and cows. These guys…
Just like on race day, every one has their own way of getting through the rest and recovery days. My non-expert, I’m-not-really-a-runner-I-just-play-one-on-TV advice? Do what works for you. Honor the rest day, and let the body that works so hard for you get a day off once in awhile. You just may be surprised how much it thanks you later on.
As far as the third R? Did you REALLY have to ask?
Enjoy the ride.
Do you honor the rest day? What do you do to allow your body to recover, especially after a hard workout? Are ‘ritas an integral part of your recovery program?