While I haven’t entered loads of races this year, I’ve steered towards longer distances. This has meant longer training, more diligence, considerable mental focus, and an eventual feeling that running has taken over my life.
In short, I need a break.
I’ve really enjoyed the progress I’ve made with my running this year. I’ve challenged myself and fulfilled new goals. However, in the weeks leading to my final race, a marathon, I was feeling physically fatigued. I’ve been moaning about it quite a bit. My long runs were lasting around 4 hours and they gradually became a chore and inconvenience. I certainly need a break from long training runs of 3 hours plus, and probably from racing. It may not last long but I’m going ease off a bit and not think about racing until 2018. (famous last words – ok, I may do The Scrooge)
As all runners know (or should), rest is as important as running. It’s all part of the training. I’m quite good at using my rest days for exactly that. There are other good reasons for taking a running break, or at least easing off, and having a bit of race respite.
Here are my reasons for taking a break:
I know I’ve mentioned this already, but I’ve been ignoring what my body’s telling me, which is to stop. I’m not someone who churns out 50 miles a week so there are other runners who happily maintain more miles. For me though I think I’ve reached my limit, especially when I factor in how busy my life is. This isn’t just about number of miles per week. When I look back, I have been training for longer distances for almost 12 months without much of break. I’ve had the odd enforced week here and there, defined by the school holidays, but aside from that, it’s been relentless.
I Need Some Free Time
Having to squeeze the majority of my runs into school hours on my days off, my free time became almost non-existent. Finding the time to do the weekly shop, let alone give my house a good clean, was becoming an impossible task. I miss having a free afternoon and meeting a friend for coffee, or pottering around Truro, just because I can. In the days running up to the marathon, I was resting and child free, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I actually sat down a lot (like you’re meant to) and watched a film.
It was nice!
I’m almost fed up with hearing myself go on about my sciatica and all the associated pains and niggles. Officially I’m not injured but by sciatica has returned. This is partly my own fault. I’m terrible at stretching after runs and don’t do any strength training. I know if I did it would help. My Physio tells me my back is sensitive and I need to keep it healthy. I’ve promised myself I’ll make more of an effort from now on.
While it hasn’t been race after race after race for me, I’ve chipped some races off the list this year. This has meant I’ve consistently had goals in mind and a focus (which I need). Throughout the year, I’ve been looking towards the next race and prepping accordingly. I need not to for a while. I want to run just for the sake of it and enjoy it rather than think about my pace or mileage.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t have other races in mind for next year but I’m looking forward to taking the pressure off. It means my days won’t revolve around running for a while, and I feel positive about that.
Well, for now anyway.
What are your reasons for having a running break? Or are you someone who just keeps going? Another question is, how long do you have a break for? (I’m a few weeks in and I’m itching to go for a run!)