I read some wise words on someone's blog recently. I cannot remember where, but I will try and find it again. This woman was talking about the value of rest. Now, all the running and sport magazines have good articles on this, but this particular article caught my attention.
The author was commenting on an interviewer who, when talking to Michael Phelps, chided him on his relaxing and doing nothing, and just chilling out. The author felt that the interviewer had not understood the importance of setting a goal, training for it, achieving it, and then relaxing.
In fact, I thought, it is quite important to switch off the computer in one's brain urging more miles, urging more effort. This in itself is not a bad thing. However, when one achieves a goal after much training and hard work, it is important to relax and enjoy the moment. This time I thought I would try it and see what happened.
After the Super Sunday 10K I did very little as I was trying to gear up for my stair climbing event. When I finished the event, I decided to take off a few days and do absolutely nothing. But this was more than rest. It was enjoyable rest. Stuart bought me my favourite blueberry pie from Whole Foods, and I made a few very nice meals. I did not consciously decide how many days I would take off, and I feel that this has improved the quality of rest. Sunday I did nothing. Monday neither. Tuesday morning I awoke and felt like doing 'something' not running and not weights.
So I did a small brick: I biked for 12 miles and ran for 1. This morning I thought I would run a quick 5 miles before work, but only did 3. Reason being, my lungs are still not quite there yet, and it's painful. Secondly, 3 miles felt right.
These two days of rest have felt like 2 weeks. I have switched off completely, eaten what I want, drunk lots of good wine, and relaxed. Now I feel refocused and want to do another stair climb next month. This time, I want to train to win. This switching off and refocusing when one feels it is 'right' seems to be a very good tactic. The proof of the pudding though is always in the eating, so I'll report back on this.