Easy Running Days are Important too

Each day yields a different set of activities, different mood, different way your body feels, different encounters, etc. Wouldn’t life be boring if each day were the exact same? I know I would get bored. I certainly need variety in my life. However, I don’t think I would get tired of my body feeling GREAT every day! Running is a funny thing. For those that are involved in running, or any sport in general, you probably will understand exactly what I am about to talk about.

Have you ever watched a sport where the expected favorite didn’t win? They certainly put in the training, had produced previous results that should’ve yielded them a win, but they just weren’t able to achieve it on that given day. Hence the variable factor. As mentioned above, each day yields different results. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. Sometimes there is an expected cause. It can be frustrating, but also exhilarating when everything aligns perfectly.

Just recently I went for a run. Okay, that sounds silly. When do I not go for a run? I run ALMOST every day… . Let me rephrase that, yesterday I went for my USUAL run. I ran my favorite number of miles – lucky number 7. I had taken the day off prior to that run. Sometimes I struggle when I take the day off prior – I have no idea why. I think my body likes routine and when I take the day off it goes into shock or something :). Actually I have heard of individuals who don’t do well with taper. I am certainly one of those. I usually have my best results if I maintain my normal routine of miles, whatever that may be. If I try to taper or take more days off, I don’t seem to do as well. Well, this day was different. I felt STRONG, and fast, and ran a little bit too fast. My last mile was 6:35…oops. The rest of my miles were not near this fast, but were certainly fast enough. I felt good and I went with it. The following day, I had a direct cause of my fatigue, and my run was slow. Like dirt slow. It was one of my slowest runs I have done in a long time.

With exercise, it is important to balance fast and slow days. Some people can withstand fast paces all of the time. I know I would have multiple injuries if I ran fast every day. My body needs time to recover. And it makes me cherish those days when I do feel good that much more. They don’t just appear every day!

So while some days are direct causes of a previous workout, there are those days when nothing seems to click. Why those days appear, I have no clue. It could be due to a variety of factors – sleep deprivation, fatigue in general, improper fueling, the weather, etc. Those days are certainly frustrating, but there is nothing that can be done in those circumstances. I had a long run that I did a couple months ago where this happened. I had planned to run a specific pace, but ended up being very far off of that pace. I knew from the start my body was not going to go for the gold that day. I did my best, and just finished my run. For me, most times I believe my “off” days are due to fatigue. That is why I try to make sure that I take my easy run days when necessary, and take off a day from running if I have an ache or pain, or am just too tired. It’s certainly a tough balance, but I enjoy the challenge of it all.

Tell me a time when you had a frustrating outcome?

Do you take easy days in your chosen sport?


2 thoughts on “Easy Running Days are Important too”

  1. This is very true. When I was training for my first half marathon I incorporated fast and slow runs. Like you, I never wanted to skip a day coz it made my next run harder. So I did alternative hard and easy runs. Since I injured my knee late last year and have had to stop running for a while, I do a lot of aerobics and dance workouts. I still alternate easy and hard workouts. My body seems to like that.

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