We all want to be successful. Whether that be in our careers, relationships, or in our recreation and hobbies. We are taught from a young age that in order to be successful you must work hard, and if you want to be more successful than your peer, then you must work harder than your peer. If you want to be the most successful then anyone else, then you must sacrifice and/or find “ways” to succeed, even it that means compromising honesty, integrity and whole hearted values.
It isn’t unusual to hear about people who work too hard that they end up with headaches, stomach problems and sleepless nights. Some people work so hard they get heart attacks and strokes. We all know someone who just works until they are ragged, and think thats a good measurement of success.
With running there is no difference. You hear about runners who train so hard and so much they end up injured or dying.
With all the technology we have today to improve our athletic abilities- hydration drinks, nutrition and protein shakes, pre-workout supplements, recovery drinks and so forth, there is one piece of the equation I believe that doesn’t get as much attention as it should, and not just in the case of running. That is the importance of recovery while resting.
As human animals, because we really are just animals, we need rest in order to live well. Most animals use winter time to recover, rest and recharge for the spring and summer days.
God even took one day of rest after he created the entire Universe, which tells us that if even an all powerful being, who doesn’t even sleep, needs rest, how important is it for us?
We do not value the concept of rest. We get up early and work until it’s way past dark and applaud those who do. We use our weekends to get ahead, to play hard, to catch up on the chores and get away to “do” something.
We just simply do not have the time rest. So our bodies AND our minds pay for it.
Science and research are starting to discover, or at least beginning to realize an old truth, that rest is part of the wholeness of health. Rest is in fact just as important as exercise and diet.
One of the reasons some people give up on running so quick is because they don’t give themselves permission to rest, recover and recharge. They want to run faster and longer as soon as possible. They don’t want to wait for months or years to be where they want to be with their goals. So they turn to gimmicks like recovery drinks or something like steroids.
So if you are new to running- give yourself time to rest, recover and recharge. That means taking a day off completely. And when I say take a day off- I mean a day off from everything. No running, no working, no catching up on chores. If you are like me, and need a somewhat clean house to be restful, do it the day before. Taking a day off means reading a book, watching movies, listening to music while writing in a journal. Taking a warm bath. It means taking the time to also reconnect with yourself. Resting is not just for the body, but it is especially for the mind. As a coach I try to teach my athletes the value of meditation or visualization while resting after a workout.
I know it sounds unrealistic, especially if you have a family, with soccer, swimming, dance and baseball games, and endless hours of homework, so it’s going to be very difficult to find the time to rest. SO maybe instead of a whole day, it could be one or two hours of just resting the body, soul and mind.
I cannot stress enough on how important this one missed piece of the puzzle this truly is. I am a believer that this little treasure does not only work with athletes, but with every single person. Imagine if we all came from a place of ease, rest and peace, instead of a place of dis-ease, restlessness, and stress?
Here’s to more rest for you!