Have you ever wondered if you’re the person reading Runner’s World or Triathlete Magazine or The Internet who is missing ALL the important details, and picking up only the wisdom that doesn’t apply to you at all?
I don’t wonder any more.
“It says here that Almonds are a health food.”
“I don’t think they mean for you to eat a pound of almonds a week.”
“I don’t worry about over training because I don’t work out that much.”
“How much do you work out?”
“5-6 days a week at 50- 60 minutes a day on the week days and 2-3 hours on the weekend days.”
“That is a lot.... Who works out more than you? I mean, what are you basing this on?”
“My friends are all IronmenWomen & Marathoners... so....”
“Omg, you are so weird."
“Well, I thought if I dropped some weight I might be less injury prone,” I said to a medical professional who happens to be a Triathlete of epic proportion.
“Uh, WHAT? Where did you get that idea?”
“um... Runners World?”
“That applies to people who are obese and take up running. So... no. You ...” exasperated sigh, “YOU need to eat better to be less injury prone.”
And so, as though a light bulb went on at the exact right moment, I realized recently that I have a history of working out a lot more than I need to be even when I’m not training. Not going to say, “too much”, because there’s definitely a threshold for every athlete that is higher for some and lower for others. Constantly pushing myself at that level wasn't helping me build a base, it was breaking me down so that I was coming into my "actual training" with muscle tears and injury.
Lately, because of my summer schedule and vacationing, I have missed a few workouts.
A lot of workouts.
I’ve been hiking, playing with kids, painting bedrooms, building sand castles, sleeping in, reading a novel... or five.
And let me tell you, my body LOVES having an extra day off every week. Fo’ Shizzle. In some respects, I look better and feel better than I ever did when I was working out 6 or 7 days a week in the name of fitness. That’s not to say I’m as strong as I was... no way. I’m not buff and rippling and able to scale a 40 foot rock wall.
I’m just lighter. And less stressed. Maybe those two things are the same thing.
I love having that pressure to "Get It Done" removed.
And so does my body.
Of course, yeah... I’m jonesing for a 26.2 fix even as I type this... but until I’m ready to commit to the training, and accept the stress and responsibility that comes with it, I need to just keep my eye on the long-term picture.
And right now, that means an extra day or two of rest every week.
'Cos sometimes less is more.