I was once convinced that the more days I could run, the better. Five days a week with two days rest. That was my plan. Or lack thereof.
Perhaps it was my lack of energy that taught me otherwise. Or perhaps it was the plantar fasciitis. Or the achilles tendonitis. Or the (now) seemingly chronic ITB issues that I comlain of. (Yep, injury queen right here, people!!)
I’ve now come to the conclusion that at least for some of us, when it comes to running, less can be way more.
What am I currently doing?
Including lots of strength training, that’s for sure!! As runners, we often focus on simply cardiovascular health. That is, working up our endurance. Strengthening our legs. But good running form requires strong abs. Strong arms. Correcting all those pesky muscle imbalances.
I’m currently running just 3 days a week but I include 2 strength training days (e.g., yoga, kettlebells, Jillian Michaels DVD’s, etc.) as well as 2 stretching days (e.g., strengthening my weak hips!!) And 1-2 days of absolute, complete rest (no stairs, no walks, no nothing!) As a result, I’ve become faster and stronger. While I haven’t completely eliminated my injuries altogether, I’ve become more aware of them and I’m much more cautious in the way that I go about running and training.
I like to train hard. But I’m also reminding myself that with running, less can be way more.