It had been 14 days since my last off day. During this time my legs have logged 150+ miles of running, 200+ miles of cycling, 30+ miles of walking Nala (our dog), some kayaking, yard work and other daily errands and chores since the last time I gave myself a 24 hour shutdown. I find it hard to take an "off day" lately. Partly because of the 50 mile ultra coming up in 6 weeks. Somewhat because every week when I cross the finish line.. the race clock shows another PR. I ran in foot gloves (Vibram Fivefingers) on sand and still beat my PR in the 5k I ran on Saturday.. after cycling 11 miles to the event... and logging 80 miles of running the previous 6 days! However, the true reason I struggle to NOT run.. honestly.. is because of HOW MUCH FUN IT IS! I LOVE every last mile of it.. there is no predetermined scripted training plan.. just a desire to run. I can't wait to get up at 4am and run 20-30 miles.. I dream of running (literally).. slow or fast.. road or beach, sneakers or barefoot.. I can't get enough!
5am - woke up from a dream that i was in death valley running in the badwater 135. Bummed that i wasn't actually running somewhere.. anywhere.
6am - after dosing off.. woke up again wondering why if i wasn't sore.. was i taking an off day?
7:30am - forced enough sleep time on myself (i sleep like a champ every night and love getting up early to train.. so i don't look forward to sleeping in)
8am - coffee and paper .. (just not the same without the runners high i am usually feeling at this point after 3 hours of running)
9am - thankfully a busy day at work getting caught up from the holiday weekend... trying to keep my mind off wanting to go for a run.
10:30 - i get a text from katie reminding me that she has a doctor's appt and hair appt after work.. PERFECT.. i will get out for a 40 mile ride well before she ever gets home...
11:00 - bummed when remembering i promised myself to TAKE THE DAY OFF from training... which includes cycling.. GRRR _%&%(*&^)!
noon - lunch! i normally can't come close to downing enough carbs and protein to make up for the 5,000 calories i burn daily while training.. and i'm really not hungry.. i decide on a protein bar and an orange.
2pm - tiger's press conference from the masters.. good.. something to get my mind off why i don't jump on my bike.. head down to the beach and get a quick 8 miles in on the sand.
3pm - caught up on work. am i caught up on rest? a half day off is better than nothing.. right. NO... keep it together man... it's just ONE DAY OFF!
ok.... only 13 hours until my 4am alarm tomorrow morning.. i can't wait.. 25 miles? 30 miles? who cares.. just give me the miles!
"Enter a race. Train to become faster and stronger. Honor the commitment. Reap the rewards." - me
What's a day off?
I always tell myself that my body needs the rest and that my muscles need to replenish themselves. Everyone needs a day off, and I don't always take Fridays off since that day is usually less crowded with guys hogging the weights area... What is with that btw????
So anyway, I usually take one day off per week totally without working out, and usually have at least one "easy" day planned per week so that I and my muscles can get the break they need, as I work very hard at being the best I can be and as fit as I can be.
I have yet to take a day off in months. My new years resolution was to run every day this year and run a race at every distance. Now, I do not run fast everyday and some days are a lot shorter than others but I am running everyday. Also I run commute to work, so I need to run each day to get back and forth to work.
Well if you can't mentally give yourself a day off, then sooner or later your BODY is going to make you take a day (or months!) off.
None of us here have to tell you the old saw about how the body becomes stronger BETWEEN workouts. I'm sure you already know that. How you choose to apply that knowledge is up to you. You sound like a real powerhouse and you appear to be enjoying your obsession. Just keep in mind that driving your body to the point of fatigue and injury may backfire by taking you out of the game altogether at some point. I hope you will train sensibly without losing your enthusiasm and not let that happen!
Greta post I love it, I'm very much the same I run because I love it, if I feel good I'll run for 2-3 hours if not I'll run for an hour, I rarely take a day off although I might go for a short run one day.
So far this year I have completed 3 half marathons all in Summer and I have 1 more half and 5 marathons this year.
I am doing my first 100 mile in March next year and can't wait. Unfortunately here in New Zealand we are going into winter but running in the cold just means you don't get as hot.
I'm not to that level of obsession...yet. But I did want to say I have the problem with dreaming of running...or having the thoughts interrupt my sleep cause my body wants to run. If I run before I sleep, I'm energized. If I have a run planned after sleep, I can't stop thinking about it and waking up to check the clock to see if it's time to get up to run. Isn't it fun?
But I have to agree with what has already been said about rest days. I have gone for 10 days at a time with pushing the workouts. Forced myself to take a day off and came back even stronger on my next workout day. I now have one built-in rest day per week. The body needs it.
5/8/10 Grand Valley Half Marathon 2:31:31 - first race...just getting started!
Well, you have to start with the way you think!
Why is taking a day off the practice of "demotivate (ing)"?
That is completely the wrong attitude! Maybe your ok running as much as you do? I'll try not to judge you on that. But calling a day off needing to "demotivate" has got to change!