Rest days are vital

When focusing on a goal or upcoming race – it is very easy to want to keep pushing. But rest days should not be overlooked. Rest days, in my opinion, are as vital a component of your training as long runs, tempo runs and speed work.

Rest days gives you:

  • a chance to restore glycogen levels
  • allows your body to adapt to an increased workload
  • protects against over-training which can often lead to injuries
  • reduces your overall fatigue, and offers a mental break from the rigors of training

Taking a rest day doesn’t mean you have to turn in to an instant sloth either. These days are perfect for any number of cross-training activities, yoga or taking your dog for a walk — activity that will moderately increase your heart rate and challenge your range of motion is a good thing. Though there may be times too when a day of complete rest with just some dynamic stretching is all that your body needs. I have quickly learned that at my ARA (advanced running age!) that my body needs the rest days and when I ignore them I eventually pay the price.

Do you adhere to the rest days in your training?


6 weeks down, 6 to go

This past weekend I wrapped up the first 6 weeks of my training plan. Some observations so far?

  • I’m learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable! With past training, I have been training within my comfort zone — working hard, but within my comfort level. With the plan Coach Bennett has designed for me, I am definitely stretching — running paces I would have written off as being too much.
  • I shouldn’t underestimate the power of sleep. I have been short-changing myself on sleep and it has been showing up in my workouts of late. I blame my late nights on the Olympics and now that we’ve said goodbye to London, I need to start heading to bed much earlier!
  • More attention needs to be paid to what I’m eating, especially post-run. my recovery, especially after long runs and speed work would benefit from paying more attention here.
  • Pro-active self care in the form of foam roller, consistent yoga practice, and massages have helped to keep me injury free. Some tweakiness in my left knee did cause me to miss one run last week, but rest, icing and KT tape seem to be keeping it in check.
  • After discussing my tweaky knee with my coach on our bi-weekly call, he has urged me to do some of the hamstring and ITB strengthening exercises he sent me; so I’ll be doing those exercises at least 3 times a week going forward.

Over the next 6 week phase, it looks like I’ll be replacing the intervals with hill work to get ready for the rolling hills of ZOOMA Cape Cod and increasing my weekly mileage.

How’s your fall race training going? What have you learned so far?



Monday Motivation – Week 5

In some ways it’s hard to believe I’m already on week 5 of my training plan. I started over-thinking (read criticizing) my runs last week, but after a good conversation with my coach on Friday, I politely told that negative voice to stuff it and went out and had a great long run Saturday šŸ™‚


My goal for this week is to remind myself to focus on the now — this is the moment I can control and it is success in this moment that will lead to success in the future.

On deck for this week:

Monday — Steady state run with hills (6) — Done!!
Tuesday — Cross-training
Wednesday — Fartlek run (3)
Thursday — Tempo (7) plus yoga for runners class
Friday —Ā  Cross-training
Saturday — LSD (11)
Sunday — rest

Felt great on this morning’s run and I’m looking forward to a great week!

Happy Monday!


Week 2 – Half Marathon Training

So week 1 of my new training plan is in the books. After Tuesday’s heat fest/race and a little over indulging on the 4th (read lots of great food and sangria!), Thursday’s run was sluggish at best. I ended up shortening my tempo run by a mile because my dead legs just couldn’t hold the target pace. There was lots of yoga on Friday and Saturday’s run felt good in spite of the crazy humidity!

On the plan for this week:

Monday — Steady state (5) w/negative split on the back half
Tuesday — X-Training
Wednesday — Easy Fartlek (3)
Thursday — Tempo (6) plus Yoga
Friday — Rest day
Saturday — Race pace (6) plus warm up and cool down miles
Sunday — Rest and Yoga

For cross-training this week, I’ll be volunteering at my youngest son’s camp on Tuesday organizing games and generally running around with a bunch of 6 & 7 year olds for 4 hrs — could be my toughest day of the whole week! I didn’t get to try out my new Merrells on Sunday so I think I’ll test them out on the Fartlek run – it’s killing me that they’ve been in the box for this long šŸ™‚

What have you got planned for the week?


Monday Motivation – Let Training Begin!

Training for my two fall half marathons kicks off this week! Yeah I’m just a little excited!

I’m running the Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50 10k tomorrow evening – should be a ton of fun! I’m not going into this race with any big goals. Given the heat ( mid to upper 80s projected), the start time (I am exclusively a morning runner) and the fact that I haven’t run a 10k race since last October, my main goals are to put in a solid run and have fun. In June, my speedwork went well, but overall I didn’t get in as many miles as I’d hoped (recovering from my May malaise lasted a bit longer than I wanted). So the bottom line, as I told Coach Bennett the other day is that I just have no idea what to expect for this race. I’m going to run by feel and see what happens.

So Week 1 training looks like this:

Monday — Yoga, rest and hydrate!
Tuesday — Race
Wednesday — Rest
Thursday — Tempo run (5)
Friday — Yoga
Saturday — LSD (7)
Sunday — Rest**

** I may through a light shake out run of just a couple of miles cause I’m dying to try out my new Merrell Dash Gloves!

What have you got planned for the week? Any 4th of July racing?