Rest, Recovery, and Relaxation

At this point in the year, chances are you’ve had a long season. (I know I have as a reporter!) […]

By on September 16, 2014 | Comments

At this point in the year, chances are you’ve had a long season. (I know I have as a reporter!) You’ve been training and tapering, pacing and racing. You may have focused on and worked toward a single race for months and months or, perhaps, you tend to race or adventure every weekend. Regardless of your exact path, either your feeling a bit worn out… or are feeling great, but in secret need of a break.

*Pause* Do you need to step back and rest, recover, and relax? If so, what do you do?

Here are some resources on the physical aspects of recovery:

And here are some articles on overtraining, one of the consequences of failing to adequately rest, recover, and relax:

And a good reminder from Stephanie Howe on how we must consider non-running stresses when thinking about Stress and Running.

Call for Comments

  • How do you decide you need to step back from your running? Do you wait until you’ve run yourself into the ground? Is it by feel, by schedule, or by some other means?
  • For your running, do you ever focus on aspects other than letting your body rest up? In other words, are you consciously letting yourself mentally relax?
  • What do you do when you stop focusing on your running?

[Author’s Note: After eight-and-a-half non-stop months making iRunFar happen from the road, I am reminded just how essential it is to rest and relax. Period. Even when you’re not running much (I’ve not been), the stress, the fatigue, and the frenetic nature of modern life and the resulting pressure we put on ourselves can be more wearing than the hardest of training blocks. Before I can hopefully return to more regular, meaningful, and voluminous running, I need to reset my system. During other periods of my life when I was training more that would have involved stepping back on the running  front. Now, it means indulging in the passion I’ve missed most of this year. So, it’s off to four days of meaningful and mindful… or, at times, completely mindless running in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains. Peace and, then, passion.]

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Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.