Monday, September 10, 2007

"To run or to rest?" and "Nutrition, timing, key components" - Off And Running by Cheryl Paynter

(Click on article below to enlarge & read
Nutrition, timing key components
from The Charlottetown Guardian, September 4, 2007)

To run or to rest?
The Guardian

Anyone who has trained for a marathon knows that there is a temptation for your training schedule to become an obsession of sorts. A report card, almost.
There is a great satisfaction to crossing that day’s planned workout off on your calendar and a horrible guilty feeling when you miss a workout and have nothing to report on that little square on your calendar.
Mix this temptation with the realities of life, kids, work and becoming under the weather, and you have the makings of some pretty tough decisions — do I skip today’s workout, adjust it from a difficult workout to an easier one or do I just stick to the plan and gut it out?
Last week I became ill during our last long run. I could feel my body fending something off the entire week and at the end of 34 kilometres there was no more fight left.
The flu bug caught me and took over and showed me exactly who was boss and brought my run to a very abrupt ending, short two kilometres of the plan for the day.
After a planned rest day, I resumed my schedule which was a group hill workout.
Things went fairly well, I worked hard and got the seven 200-metre repeats in with a stream of Kleenex flowing behind.
Great, on the road to recovery, I thought. Wrong. The next two days I spent miserably sick and feeling quite sorry for myself, I may add. The gals in my running group were after me to take a few days off to rest and recover, but I could not make myself stay home.
Thursday brought an hour-long fast pace run; Friday the group pool running workout and then on Saturday, we headed west to Summerside to participate in a 10-kilometre race.
That is where it all caught up with me again. I posted a race time of almost three minutes slower than my last race and felt miserable doing it.
After getting the disapproving finger wag from Stanley, my coach, I finally decided all of these people may be correct and maybe I should take Sunday off instead of doing the next planned long run.
Rest I did and I am well back onto the road to recovery again. I hate it when others are right and I am proven wrong.
So the question remains, when are you sick enough to take an extra day off and when do you suck it
up and push through not feeling well?
I would suggest that if you are running any kind of a fever or feeling weak, lightheaded or nauseous, you should take the day off from training and rest-guilt free.
If you have a few annoying sniffles and a scratchy throat, you are most likely OK to run.
You should know going in that you will not post your fastest times or feel the best running with a bug, but you should be fine to continue your training.
Try not to worry about missing a few days training, especially if you are resting and recovering. Inevitably, most everyone falls ill during a long 18-week training program.
It is how you treat yourself when you become ill that will make the difference of getting back on track quickly and feeling and running well again.

Cheryl Paynter of Charlottetown is training for the upcoming BMO Nesbitt Burns P.E.I. Marathon. She is writing a regular column on her training preparations for the Oct. 13-14 event.

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