When speaking about this particular goal, I received plenty of feedback.
“WHAT! You’re doing all that? Don’t you think you’ll burn out?”
PSH, like any competitor, if someone tells me I can’t do something then I have to.
Well, if I did not take this little R+R time for myself, I’d most definitely be proving them right, completely burnt out and most likely sick and injured.
Now that the TCS NYC Marathon is just around the corner, I am getting lots and lots of training questions from clients, friends and family who will be running their first full. And though I am always glad to help, I can’t quite get myself to personally think about preparing for this particular 26.2. I still need time to mentally rest, recover, and recharge from logging in miles and miles.
You see, rest and relaxation is part of the process. And this goes for any kind of training. If you don’t take time for yourself to relax, your body won’t adapt to the stress of your training and you won’t get better, stronger, faster. If you neglect recovery for too long, and you will for sure start to lose strength and speed. You’ll plateau and stagnant race results will be your result.
You'll sink into the black hole known as overtraining and if you value sleep, food, sanity and happiness, you will not like the effects of being overtrained.
The Process of Seeping into the Hole:
First: your sleep patterns and energy levels will start to be all wacky.
Then: like burning out your engine, your immune system crashes and your appetite suppresses (not in a good way), eventually, you become moody and irritated easily and just not a fun person to be around.
Nobody wants to be that strung out, overtired, cranky person.
And: scientifically your body begins to break down.
CAUTION: *NERD ALERT*
One scientific study analyzed the damage done to the calf muscles during a race and concluded that both the "intensive training for, and the marathon itself, induce inflammation and muscle fiber necrosis that significantly impaired muscle power and durability".
This study makes it clear that our muscles are undoubtedly weakened and need extensive recovery before returning to full training. Given this study also examined calf muscles during an extended training block, the need for downtime applies to any strenuous training segment.
The same goes for the cellular damage to your body. From a cellular level your body undergoes cellular damage leading to a suppressed immunity.
Bottom line: REST to rejuvenate
As for all my newbees eagerly awaiting TCS NYC Marathon prep, here’s my advice for you.. take this time for your own R+R because come July your life is going to start running again ;)