Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Recovery run

I have been hampered with a slight leg muscle pull so I've backed off on runs since Sunday. After two days of upper-body only workouts I decided to run this morning but maintain a more moderate pace. I was concerned that after two days off I'd feel underconditioned and that the layoff would impact my performance. In fact the opposite was true. I actually needed to rein in my efforts and (for safety) maintain a slower pace than I felt I could handle. Although it felt great I stopped after 1.5 miles to head off further aggravating the injury. I certainly could have handled much more distance and I felt much stronger at the one mile mark than I ever had before. My leg felt no worse for the run but I needed to be careful.

So today was a lesson for the Emerging Runner. I learned that one or two days break from running actually helps performance and stamina. I no longer feel that skipping a day is a challenge to my committment or a setback to conditioning. I will try to incorporate a more balanced program and include skip days (every beginner's running guide recommends them but I thought I knew better). Although my 5K is still far off I've been thinking about my approach to conditioning for race day. I'm definately thinking about not running the day before. Maybe even skipping two!

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