Rest – And Spring Marathon Training – Week 8

The sun’s come out this afternoon and part of me thinks I should go out for a run. However, I’m holding myself back because yesterday’s final Cross Country race of the year is still making my legs a little heavy and the pain in my side has not gone away completely, so I’m going to give myself a ‘rest’ day.

I had a mate come over this week who actually reads my blogs even though she has no real interest in running. Now that’s what I call a mate!

‘I’ve got a suggestion for you’, she said, as she added more oat milk to the builder’s tea I’d made her. I asked what it was.
‘I want you to talk about rest.
‘Yes,’ she continued, ‘you’re always talking about and describing the types of runs and cycle rides you do, and I see the word “rest” in your schedule but what does that mean?’

She had had this thought before I got my injury but the timing of our conversation could not be more apt. I haven’t been below 20 miles per week since the middle of December and this week I’ve managed 12. The rest I’ve had has been enforced, but the physical appreciation of my injury getting better as I’ve put my feet up has reminded me how important it actually is for the body, and the mind.

As I’m geeking out on running books and marathon talk programmes at the moment, I’m learning a lot about the different aspects of training, and rest is talked about a lot. The Ben Parkes programme I use has a lot of rest days built in, but does that mean to say that you should sit on your backside and watch Netflix all day?

When you drill deeper to some of the explanations, they actually want you to stay moderately active, as in ‘go for a short, gentle walk’, or ‘mow the lawn’ for example, assuming you don’t live in a stately home. If you’re planning to manually dig the foundations of a building then you should probably leave that job until after your marathon is complete, but otherwise, carry on as normal. In fact, given that most people in the western world are very sedentary, if you can reduce how much sitting you do generally then that will be beneficial.

More sleeping, on the other hand, is highly advised. Getting to bed early and trying to get a good 7.5 to 8 hours quality sleep per night does wonders for the marathon build up. During sleep, a whole host of things are happening to your body. For example, the micro tears that your muscles sustain during long or hard training are repaired while you sleep. In fact, elite runners do a lot of napping in the daytime too because there is so much science to prove the benefits of this. I am not an elite runner but after a very long run my body is just craving forty winks so I try and give myself half an hour in bed with my legs raised on pillows. I don’t know if that last bit is the right thing to do but it feels so good.

So, although part of me is chomping at the bit after my week off, and the adrenalin of yesterday’s final Cross Country race of the season, I’m going to finish this week by taking it easy for one more day.

My very sparse Week 8 training breakdown:

DayWhat I DidWhat Ben Wanted Me To Do
MondayRest5 miles easy with 4 x strides
TuesdayA short gentle run to see how my leg felt
Distance : 3.11m [5km]
Avg pace: 11.56 min/mile [7.18 m/km]  
WednesdayStrength and Mobility class – 1 hrIntervals
10 mins easy
5 x 800 m
2 mins walk
10 mins easy
ThursdayRestStrength (30 mins)
FridayAnother run to explore my leg, turned into a progression run.
Distance : 3.67m [5.91km]
Avg pace: 10.44 min/mile [6.49 m/km]
SaturdayCross Country on undulating grass
Distance : 5.29m [8.51km]
Avg pace: 10.06 min/mile [6.25 m/km]
Long Run
12 miles easy  
SundayStrength Work at home (30 minutes)Rest
Total Miles: 12.1m [19.47km]

2 thoughts on “Rest – And Spring Marathon Training – Week 8”

  1. I love the picture of you running! Your smile says it all. Rest is extremely important, and I agree that it does not mean being a total couch potato. I am also finding getting enough sleep beneficial.

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