The Importance of Rest

I’m tired.

Both physically and mentally. In the last two weeks, both friends and complete strangers I’ve met have all remarked on how tired I’m looking. It must be bad! And even though I know the best thing for me is rest, I get itchy feet before long. Most runners, ultra or otherwise will know what I’m talking about. We worry we’re missing out on a session and most will train through injury or resume training before recovery is complete. The HTFU mentality is great as long as you know can read the fine line between breaking your boundaries and breaking yourself.

I have recovery phases planned into my training program, and that’s when your mind and body both get a chance to regroup and rebuild, ready for the next onslaught of mad miles. Even forged metal has to be allowed to cool before it can be made stronger, so who am I to think that I can carry on (and on, and on, and on …) like the Energiser bunny without much of a break?

After UTMB I dived straight back into work and training, only to have to scale back my training to accommodate long hours at work and an increasing fatigue. Nothing’s felt quite right since then and I need to listen to my body if I want to keep running well. After last weekend’s run I’ve decided to make a few more sensible decisions.

I can sleep almost anywhere!

I’ve taken the Sabah 100km Ultra and the C2K off my list for this year, leaving me with the local marathon to finish 2011. Being realistic, I could do those events, but I couldn’t race them at the level I would like given my current fatigue. I’ve done what I set out to do this year so I have no reason to keep beating myself up.

So now my goal for the next few weeks is rest and recovery. Eat well, swim, stretch and get regular massages. Unfortunately, the massages aren’t relaxing, but essential for recovery .. Rosa (my masseuse) could make a grown man cry despite being in her 60s!

Make sure all marker pens are locked away when you take a nap! 

Way back when I used to race triathlon, my mum used to tell me “If you’re tired, just stop.”. I never used that in my race strategy, but maybe it’s time to heed her advice. That, and the windy season should be starting soon .. it’s kitesurfing time! 🙂

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  1. Hi Geri. Favour to ask, I wanted to see if you have any tips for the GNW100 (read your blog on it from last year – very informative, thanks). Am flying down for the 100km version in 4 weeks (this is my first 100km). Ran the first half of course in training 8 weeks ago, dont know the back underdone on hills and night running and after the Singapore TNF [100 duo] on weekend I think Ive now done all the heat training I need (although heard it was hot and humid down there last year).

    Im at if you have any tips.

    Thanks and good luck with the recovery.

    – Jamie

  2. Fatbird, what Ultras are you considering doing for next year? Anyway I just got news that Kilian lost to Marco in Mt Kinabalu Climbathon. It was a good race though.

  3. Opps. I got it wrong. KJ beat Marco by just a bit. Marco was leading by abt 3 mins from the peak, but fell down on his way down, and that cost him the victory.

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