Runners: Take advantage of those recovery days.
Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon newsletter:
Training Tip #8 Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services
Doesn't exactly have the catchiness of Aretha Franklin's famous tune, but there's no doubt you must R-E-S-P-E-C-T the recovery element of your training program. There's no medal for training seven days a week and running your body into the ground.
Recovery (i.e. rest) is mandatory so your body can repair itself from the workouts you've completed and strengthen itself for upcoming training runs and eventually, the race for which you're preparing.
Most of the benefit is physical. Down time helps muscle tissue repair and recover. Without a break - overtraining - these muscles will continue to break down, eventually leading to poor training performance and higher risk of injury.
Those recovery days also have a psychological benefit. A mental break from the rigors and intensity associated with the preparation for a long distance race can be especially refreshing and help create renewed motivation and anticipation for upcoming workouts.
There's nothing wrong with taking a break - you deserve it!
Dr. Michael Hartmann
Race Medical Director
Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon
(Dr. Hartmann is an emergency room physician at Edward Hospital in Naperville.)