Don’t Be Afraid To Take A Zero
It might seem counterintuitive, but if you’ve been training for an extended stretch of time, late summer might be the perfect time to relax a bit and let your body recover with a day, or days, off from training. “Perhaps you are potentially over-trained or mentally exhausted,” Hartmann says. Specifically, take an “inventory” of yourself from your head to your feet.
- Do you feel fatigued before you start running?
- Do your legs hurt?
- Are you just not mentally into it?
- Do you just want to stop running after 10 or 15 minutes?
Answering yes to these questions might be a sign that you should back off your training a bit. Hartmann suggests that runners who find themselves in these situations should back off their running and cross-train for at least one to three weeks. Specific activities to consider include swimming or hopping on an elliptical machine at the gym. Consider dedicating a week in the late summer to strength training at the gym, or spending 20 to 30 minutes a day completing a series of simple body-weight exercises such as pushups, crunches, planking or doing dips at home.
It’s important to know that taking a zero or two in your training log — perhaps timing it with a well-deserved beach vacation — won’t harm you in the long run, no pun intended. Taking time off from running may seem intimidating, but your mental slump may be your body asking for a well-deserved break.