OK, so you all know yesterday that I didn’t have the most energy on my run and had a hard time getting through it. I was still exhausted last night and it was supposed to rain this morning so I decided to take an extra day of rest. No guilt about it, either.
Actually, this is the first marathon training plan that I didn’t squeeze in an extra rest day. I used to add a rest day on Tuesdays, in addition to Fridays and Sundays. However, this time, I decided to step it up and follow the training plan as closely as possible. So, I’ve been sticking with two rest days and its been working out well so far.
I think the most important part of training for a marathon and following a training plan is to listen to your body. If you work yourself to the point of injury or exhaustion, your workouts won’t be as effective. However, as Rach @ Girl on the Run noted yesterday in the comments, there is a fine line between letting your body rest when needed and pushing it through.
So how do you know where you stand? This takes time. There will be days when you let yourself rest and you think, I could have worked out. And vice versa. But the more you run, the better you get to know your body and learn what it needs. For instance, in one of my training plans from a few marathons ago, it said to do an easy run on Fridays… just three or four miles to shake out the muscles. But, when I did that, my long runs suffered the next day. So, I learned to make sure the day before long runs are rest days… and my long runs improved.
Trial and error.
Do you have a hard time listening to your body? Do you feel guilty if you take an extra rest day?