While I am now in my third week of running for marathon training, there was a period before training started where my running was minimal, and sometimes, nonexistent.
What Time Off From Running Taught Me…
Part of the reason I took time off from running was because I knew I’d be running alot more once training started, but also to help my hip pain subside and take a mental break. I don’t think I’d be where I am now, running-wise, if I hadn’t taken that 2-3 weeks away from running.
This non-running period inspired me to try new-to-me forms of exercise, and I even wrote a post about different exercise classes I’ve loved trying. I really enjoyed working and developing new muscles and even building my mental capacity, which is just as important for training, in my opinion!
1) I REALLY love circuit + HIIT workouts
Being able to not be stuck doing the same arm raise or bicep crunch multiple times kept my workouts fresh. I love working hard for 15-20 seconds with mini breaks in between. These videos became my go-to’s:
2) I felt a new type of soreness from circuit training and strength training
No longer was it just in my legs and quads from running, but my whole body felt sore and strong. I still foam rolled and used my running stick consistently to help get rid of the lactic acid and improve soreness.
I could NOT live without these products.
3) I felt like I had more time
I wasn’t spending 2 hours on the weekend planning and doing my long runs. I had more time to do the things that had been on my to-do list forever, like making little tweaks to my blog, grabbing brunch with friends, working on some personal development and career-oriented things, reading for fun, trying new recipes.
Overall, I felt like I was a little more flexible (The challenge lies in keeping this mindset when marathon training amps up).
4) I still snacked like crazy
Circuit training and weight training are known to speed up your metabolism, so clearly, I was still the incessant snack-ster I’ve always been (recipe for peanut butter trail mix bites).
5) I Slept More
I think my body was stressed out from not giving it enough rest, my cortisol was high and my stress hormones were up the wazoo. Take it from me, take the time off when your body is telling you to do so.
It’ll be so much more worth it when you do. And soaking in this really helped, especially the lavender scent.
6) I Cross trained
Somehow, I spent up to an hour on it at one time. Never thought that day would ever come. I could actually read a book or watch a show while exercising.
7) I didn’t gain 10 lbs
People think that they have to exercise the same way to lose/maintain weight, when in fact, doing a variety of exercise and workouts keeps your body loose and avoids the workout slump plateau. And you don’t have to try to out-exercise your diet.
Sans running in my life, I wasn’t exercising as long or often. Some of my workouts were shorter, though more intense.
My weight barely changed, so don’t let this be the reason you don’t take time away from exercising!
8) I fell in love with walking
Walking became my me time in nature, my form of exercise without sweat.
It was so relaxing to just go out for a long walk around the neighborhood and catch up on all of my podcasts and phone calls to friends.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled to be back on my regular running schedule.
The time off allowed me to truly miss it, and build that mental strength back up after being worn down.
Running is addictive, a runner’s high is a real thing. To me, it’s a lifestyle, not a thing. I’m an athlete, but I define myself as a runner.
Running has been consistent for me, whether it be 5-6 days a week or 30-40 miles/week. I love that feeling after a long run, the sound of my sneakers pounding the pavement, waving to other runners, feeling my muscles working…I love it all.
I love talking running, researching running and working on improving my running.
Running has been great for my mind for so many reasons, but it can lead to burn out and overuse injuries, and I think I was close to that point.
Taking time off from running was what I needed to put into perspective how much I love it, and prevent any further burnout.
Have you ever taken time away from something you love? Experienced burnout?