What! I hear you cry! Take a break? But I'm a runner, or even worse (or better, depending on your perspective) I'm an ultra runner! I don't take a break. I log miles, I track vertical climbed, I record distance and pace and effort and if I take a break that means I don't run, but I do some other work out instead because I'm injured or hurting.
And I'm as guilty as anyone for not taking a break, I definitely find it hard to settle the quality/ quantity balance as my run is an important part of any day for me and all too often I vere in the quantity direction of the scale. So I had a short trip to visit family in the UK looming and I knew I wouldn't run for four days. Four whole, long stretches of 24hrs consecutively with no running. Ok, I could have run had I wanted to but with such a short trip back I knew I would be too busy spending time with the family to run. So I stock piled on runs before heading out, ending with my final run an hour before I got the bus to catch my flight! I'd not taken a day off running for over 2 weeks and not a day off since running Frozen Ass 50km so I was getting pretty tired and maybe in need of a rest.
And today was the post-rest test and man did I hammer that treadmill! I logged a solid two hours on the treadmill after a 9hr + day at work and it seemed so easy. I was flying and so full of energy, my legs felt fresh, the pace felt easy and I didn't tire even towards the end of the run. Awesome! I probably looked a little crazy as I happily mouthed along to the tunes on my iPod but I didn't care as I was just buzzing.
So I guess all in all it's lesson learnt (though I know I shall soon forget this lesson - old habits are hard to break afterall!), taking a break once in a while may not only not do us runners damage, but in fact it might actually do us good!
But tomorrow's run plan is already in the works.....
(random aside, but for some good alternative tunes from an old school friend of mine check out http://www.myspace.com/kezzstone)