Just because you can . . .

should_you

. . .  should you?

It seems like multi event weekends are all the rage now. And Ragnar, of course, which is sort of a multi event weekend. I haven’t done either. And I’m not saying you absolutely shouldn’t, but sometimes it’s wise to stop and give some hard thought to why you’re really signing up for an event, rather than get swept up in the hype.

For this Fitness Friday Five  from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run,  I’m going to give you five ways to know that you’re ready to start training for your first half marathon.

I take recovery seriously
The line between injured and not injured is very, very thin. One minute you’re zipping along, running great, the next minute you’re sidelined with an injury. Or so it seems, anyway.

I try to be mindful and respect my body, because I’ve had a few injuries since I started running. I’ve been very lucky that none of them have sidelined me for very long, but even a short time on the sidelines can be very frustrating.

Since I just ran a half last weekend, I am not running this week. At all. Even though I have another half in roughly six weeks. 13.1 may not seem like much to a lot of runners, but I take it seriously, plus consider that I’ve been training for months already this year.

Your immunity takes a hit when you run a half marathon — ditto with travel, and I combined the two.

I won’t lose much, if any fitness, by taking this week off, and I have a lot to gain.

And that means being cautious about running too much
The highest weekly mileage I’ve ever run is 30. I won’t lie; it made me feel kind of bada$$. And fit. I felt truly ready for a big breakthrough in my finish times.

It didn’t happen, for a variety of reasons, and in the end, I struggled through one of my goal races in pain.

It’s not fun to run a goal race in pain. I may do this to challenge myself, and towards the end of a half I may question why I thought it was a good idea, but one of my first goals for all my halfs is to finish. Preferably not in pain.

I am still trying to figure out what the right weekly mileage is for me to achieve my goals and stay injury free.

It’s not only about weekly mileage, either. It’s also about how many times a week you run. 4 times a week seems to be a sweet spot for me. I also know that I can get by on 3 times a week. It’s rare for me to run more than 2 days in a row, but sometimes I do — I try to listen carefully to my body when I do. Just as I’ll take an extra rest day if my body tells me it needs it — it’s not easy for me, but I’ve learned to do it.

And that means not racing too much
I have marathoner friends, multi event friends, ultra friends. Of course I think they’re a special kind of crazy.

Racing is hard, y’all (and if it isn’t, you’re not racing). Sure, I could set a goal for myself to run a half every month. It would require a lot of travel and a lot of wear and tear on my body.

I’ve mentioned it before: I don’t just want to run a half in every state, I want to explore every state by running a half.

YMMV (your mileage may vary)
See what I did there? Some runners will run high weekly mileage and never suffer an injury. And some will run low weekly mileage and still be plagued by injuries. Some can run every day and be fine.

You get the picture: every body is different.

Listen carefully to your body. Don’t fall prey to FOMO.  And just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should.

 

Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

Do you take time off running after a goal race?

Have you ever regretted not taking time off after a race?

Ever regretted doing a multi event weekend or a Ragnar?

coachescorner

I am linking up with Coach Debbie Runs, Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, and Crazy Running Girl for their Coaches’ Corner Linkup (even though I am not a coach — you can link up any running related post).

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8 thoughts on “Just because you can . . .

  1. Our posts are opposite. I wrote about FOMO & YOLO.

    I don’t rest after a half. I usually run a recovery run the day after and then continue with my normal weekly runs.

    However, if I experienced issues with IT bands, knees, ankles, etc, I would recommend rest as you did.

    You are smart to listen to your body.

    Being injured sucks.

    So enjoy the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” was a common mantra my yoga teacher used to whisper in my ear. I have a hypermobility disorder, so this was something that constantly needed to be told to me as a new yogi. I am glad you are deciding to listen to your body. Racing (and running) is hard on the body. I hope you enjoy the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

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