Monday, February 22, 2010

Today's Run and Rest Days

My new Nike Air shoes are fantastic!! It was the closest thing to running on clouds I've experienced.

My lunchtime run was really great. I ran the entire loop without stopping or walking. The blasted bridge was up again, so I took a detour instead of waiting. I ran up the stairs to the Steel Bridge overpass to get to the East-side and continue my run. The weather was perfect and I took off my jacket half way through.

I used the Mapmyrun App on my iphone today. I wanted an accurate measurement of how many miles the Waterfront loop is. Turns out my lunchtime run is 3.33 miles! Calories burned: 430.

Something I want talk about today: Rest Days. They are so important! And I learned the hard way (as many beginning athletes do). When I was close to my goal weight, I hit a plateau that I just could NOT get over. It took months. It was very discouraging! My solution? EXERCISE MORE! Hell ya! Um...totally not that way to do it. I worked out (HARD) for 28 days straight. The scale would not budge no matter what I did. By working out too much, I was taxing my body, putting unnecessary strain on my muscles and joints, and setting myself up for injury. Luckily, that didn't happen. I was burned out, sick of exercising, and frustrated with the scale. What helped get over the plateau? I kept doing my normal 5 day a week routine, continued counting calories, and tried to stop obsessing. It was then the scale finally moved.

I now try to take 2 days off a week from intense exercise. On my "off days" I sometimes walk briskly but try to take it easy.

Rest days are crucial. Recovery days are when your body replenish energy and heal damaged tissues in your muscles. Here is an interesting article at Runner's World about rest days:,7120,s6-238-267--13104-0,00.html

"Less Is More
Rest days and easy days reward runners with different benefits
How It Helps:
Prevents overuse injuries
Restores glycogen stores
Prevents mental burnout
How Often: Once a week
How Easy: Off completely or 20 to 30 minutes (or 2 to 4 easy miles) below 60% of max heart rate

How It Helps:
Builds base
Improves endurance
Increases blood volume
How Often: 80 to 85% of total weekly mileage
How Easy: 70 to 75% of max heart rate or conversational pace at comfortable to moderate effort"

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