Taking A Day Off

It’s a tough call sometimes to take a day off. And there’s no clear formula by which to make that choice. Training is cumulative and so can be fatigue. I’ve touched prior on the importance of rest/recovery days. The Lydiard formula of Stress + Rest = Adaptation. But how about those days you just don’t “feel” like getting out the door?

While physical fatigue could be a part of this, mental fatigue plays a key role too. If I just don’t feel like running on a given day I at least get dressed and get out the door. That’s half the battle. Then you will find out if you physically can run ok or if it’s a mental issue.

I learned first hand back in the day that some days I just felt horrible, was depressed and just didn’t feel like it. Those are the days that sometimes I had to push myself harder. And it was trial and error. Getting out the door and hitting a couple of miles tells you a lot. Most of the time you will do the scheduled workout or mentally you may decide I am just not into it today and stop. Your body will help you make that choice as well.

Some things to watch for:
• Not sleeping well. Waking up a lot.
• General fatigue that doesn’t go away after recovery and rest days.
• Not “feeling” like running. Mental fatigue.
• A feeling of “flatness” during your hard workouts. Meaning you have to push harder than normal to achieve the same end.
• Legs feel like running in sand.

My experience is, even if you don’t feel like it, give the run a go. More times than not you will be surprised. If your “flatness” continues for a few days then its time to simply take a day off.
Here’s a picture from one of my old logs leading up to a marathon, and in looking back at my notes it was clear when to take a day off or skip a workout. Note the “Flat” written in the border. I could then see what led up to this feel which would help me decide to skip a workout. And remember it’s ok to take a day off when you need it.

Here at Running Niche we are trained Lydiard level I & II coaches. Please stop in the store to learn more about the Lydiard Method. We can help you sign up. While your personalized plan costs $100, and goes to a non-profit, we provide the day to day coaching at no additional charge.

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
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Robert DyerRunning Niche