Listen Closely…

Posted: February 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

Listening closely to how your body is responding to the rigors of training will allow you to remain injury-free, avoid burnout and sustain your enthusiasm.  It’s more beneficial to take a much-needed and well-deserved rest day than to abide strictly to the prescribed training schedule.

Monitoring your resting heart rate each morning is the best method of determining the degree of  intensity for each workout.  Establishing a baseline or average resting heart rate can be achieved after a week of daily monitoring.  Simply place your index and middle fingers on one of your carotid arteries and count your heart beats for 6 seconds and add a zero.  If there’s an increase of over 5 beats per minute over your average RHR (resting heart rate) the warning lights should go off.

Too many runners base the length and intensity of their runs on the prescribed schedule, the weather, their schedule or another runner’s schedule.  It’s far more beneficial to base your runs on how you feel.  You should adjust the intensity and distance of your runs based on how you feel and your resting heart rate.  An elevated heart rate is your bodies warning system that it’s stressed or not well rested.

Simply reduce the intensity and duration of your run, cross train or take the day off completely when needed.  Provided you eat well, stay hydrated and get sufficient rest, your resting heart rate should return to normal the following morning. 

Other signs that you may need additional rest are a general lack of enthusiasm for your running, muscle soreness, signs of a cold or general irritability.  I realize that you may experience all of these fairly regularly, almost daily, when training for a marathon; but you have to determine what is a normal by-product of the rigors of training and what is unusual or new.

This extremely simple practice can completely transform your running from a seemingly endless uphill battle to having a greater degree of confidence and an increased level of energy. 

Listening closely to how your body is responding to training is as important as a great long run!

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