This week is a scheduled recovery week. I’m not worrying too much about pace or really long runs, and it’s been quite relaxing. I’m trying to give my legs and body a chance to recover from training in this heat and humidity. It acutally works out perfectly because my mother-in-law is in town and I am able spend more time with her. I aim to follow the train hard for three weeks, go easy for one week method, but it sometimes can vary depending on how life happens. Also during the week, I try to take one day off completely. However, more often than not, I just happen find myself at the gym regardless. Opps!
I decided to do a quick search tonight on how Ryan Hall incorporates rest into his training. I read a while back that since becoming self coached, he took every Sunday as a rest day. When I searched the topic tonight, I learned a little more.
Ryan Hall learned about the importance of rest from Matt Dixon, a Brit who coaches amateur athletes as well as others who are a little more competitive. Dixon has taken on the task of teaching overtrained and underperforming athletes to incorporate more rest and more food post hard workout into their training. Not only has he helped Ryan Hall to become the fastest American marathoner ever, he also helped triathlete Chris Lieto reach peak performance. Dixon got Hall to drop his training volume from 120 miles per week to 100 miles per week as well as to eat more post workout.
Dixon isn’t a 21st century wizard with secret knowledge; he just believes that recovery is under-valued and under-utilized. “Our goal is not to train as hard as we can, but to perform well,” Dixon says. “And to perform well you have to be very fit, but not fatigued.”
Recovery, however, shouldn’t be confused with easy. “Recovery is the thing that enables hard training,” Dixon says. If you’re rested and fueled, you can you push yourself to new heights in key workouts and increase fitness.
This philosophy is the cornerstone of a broader methodology Dixon calls the four pillars of performance: endurance (or workouts), recovery, nutrition and strength. “I talk a lot about recovery because that’s what’s often missing [from people’s training],” he says. But he believes all four pillars must be treated equally if you want to maximize performance.
One of my local running heros is Kelcey Carlson – a news reporter here in Raleigh, NC. (I saw her at the grocery store once and had to introduce myself. I felt like I just met Kara Goucher. :P) She is a 3:04 marathoner, has two kids, and a full time job. She only runs 5 days a week and I’m sure the other two are spent doing family and/or work things. She rests. Ryan Hall rests. I think I should rest too.
Happy Trails and happy Running,