Sunday, November 12, 2006

Week 17 (Nov 12 - 18)

At least 3 days this week:
Warm-up walk: 5 minutes
Run: 9 minutes
Walk: 6 minutes
Run: 8 minutes
Walk: 7 minutes
Cool down walk: 5 minutes

Something to sleep on:
Proper Rest

Rest is a very underrated aspect of running, especially distance running. To be good at running, you must adopt a mindset along the lines of, "the harder I push, the better I will be." Well, this is good only up to a point. As a coach of mine said (specifically for summer training, but the general theory carries over into the competitive season, as well), "make your hard days as hard as possible and your easy days as easy as possible." The idea is that if your easy days are taking away from your hard days, you will merely run mediocre every day and not do the work necessary to become faster. It is the hard workouts that make you a faster runner, not the easy ones.

Personally, I am in favor of three hard workouts a week (two if one of the days is a race), with an easy day between hard workouts and races. I prefer six days a week of running, with the seventh day spent cross-training (bicycling, for example) or resting, if need be. Many people go the route of seven days a week, 365 days a year. This works for some, but breaks down many others. Find out what works for you, give the body time to get accustomed, and stick with that routine.

There is much more to rest than when and how hard to run, however. Other related things to consider are: sleep, diet, stress level, and mental preparation. All of these combine to dictate how your body will be able to react to your training regimen. You've probably heard your coach say, "two days before the race is most important." This refers to both sleep and food. Why two days before? Because the night before a race you will probably be too nervous and/or excited to sleep, anyway! By eating correctly, your body replenishes the nutrients which are burned up through exercise.

1 comment:

Jacqueline said...

AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! 9 and 8?!?!?!?! I am NEVER going to catch up!! Do you hear me? NEVER!!!


That's not to say I won't try....but I'm pretty sure that I will die while doing so.