What does running look like if you’re not training? How to learn to actually enjoy running
I’m so excited to talk about why I love running when you’re not training. Why? Because that’s the phase I’m in currently. Also related to 7 reasons to run that have nothing to do with weight loss.
But before that, how was your weekend? We spent the weekend in Boone, NC, in the mountains. It was very cozy and relaxing to just live life without any sense of time for a couple days. I slept in, drank lots of coffee in nature, hiked with the pups, had s’mores by the fire pit and saw some amazing views.
And some cheesy tater tots after hiking. Nothing hit the spot any better!
Tater really enjoyed the hike. We stopped in a local water area and she splashed around. She wanted to keep playing but we had to get her back so we could go eat because we were HUNGRY.
Oh, and I can’t forget – a lovely bloody mary with an even lovelier view of the mountains. We stopped for brunch before heading home from the weekend.
It was a weekend without any running which got me thinking about this post: Running when you’re not training for anything. You may have been wondering why I haven’t written about running lately, and well, it’s because I haven’t been doing a whole lot of it!
Since the Ogden Marathon in May, my running has decreased tremendously and it’s been very relaxed. I went from 35+ miles a week to 10-15. It’s actually been a perfect time to do so because running in the Charlotte heat and humidity is not my friend.
I’ve realized there are quite a few things I’ve enjoyed about not being in training mode that I thought I’d share.
Why do I love running when I’m not following a training plan?
There’s no pressure
I don’t feel like running? No problem. I don’t have to worry about making the miles up at the next run, or struggling to hit my weekly goal. I’ve simply ran when I wanted to, or rested when I didn’t want to.
You don’t have to keep track of your miles
I can run 10-15 miles a week and not worry about losing my fitness. I can cross train or just do strength training for the week and all is great in the world.
No fear of workouts that make you sore the next day
No speed work, interval training, or 3 mile runs! During marathon training, I’d be afraid of doing too much strength because I didn’t want to be too sore for my training runs. Now, that’s not a worry or concern.
It’s been absolutely incredible. What else can I say about this?
I feel so much more rested. I don’t have to stress about wanting to stay out later at night.
Weekends don’t revolve around running
There’s the opportunity to do so much more exploring now. On long run Saturdays, I’d have to give up plans on Friday nights for an early bedtime. Then I’d honestly want to lay around most of the day Saturday after running. Things didn’t get done and I couldn’t be as flexible. Now if I want to hit up the Farmer market, or have friends over for brunch, it’s so easy to do.
The ability to try new workouts
I’m back in the hot yoga groove right now and some HIIT workouts. I’ve also been doing some barre workouts from home, and loving feeling a little more toned.
Although I’m enjoying some time away from a “training plan,” I am itching to sign up for my next race. I’m ready to start adding a little more running structure back in – nothing extreme and no marathons until Boston next April – but there’s a part of me that takes pride in training for something and having a goal or objective in mind, and giving it my all to reach that goal.
I think all us runners need time like this with no agenda, to run just because we love it or just when we want to, without a plan dictating our mileage. Taking some time away really challenges our love for the sport, and with that rest and recharge, you can come back stronger. I’m not sure what my next race will be before Boston, but I think this time off has been key in just giving my body the rest it’s been asking for.
Running is more intuitive.
Running and exercise in general can totally be an intuitive endeavor. Like I talked about in how to manage Intuitive Eating and Exercise, I’ve learned to tune in to my body needs and how I feel when I’m not robotically following a training plan. It has made a world of difference and has been a monumental learning experience for me.
I’ve written about What time away from Running Taught Me, because it always seems like I come back from breaks feeling refreshed and ready to tackle a new goal. It also seems that it was about this time last year I took a little running break too.