Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A balancing act

Back in college, and quite frankly, even a few years after college, I used to think that I needed to run seven days a week.  This was going to make me faster, stronger, and less stressed.  Truth is - it did none of those things.  Instead, I became frustrated whenever I had to think about when I was going to get a workout in.  How many miles?  Tempo run or track workout?  Trail run or road?  Which race should I run?  It was exhausting, not to mention, draining my pocketbook of what little cash I possessed. 

So, I quit took a hiatus.  I never quit - ever.  But I listened to my body telling me that a break was in order.  I didn't race for about two years. While I still ran, I did so when I wanted.  If I felt like going fast, I went fast.  If I wanted to leisurely run/gossip with a friend, I did.  I tried out classes at my gym, volunteered at races, and when I was ready, began training again. 

Since my running epiphany, I've learned that my old training regimen is better off left in the past.  Today, I choose "quality over quantity" when I devise my workout plans.  In order to keep me balanced (literally and figuratively), I add in a few cross-training days and at minimum, one rest day.  Keeping this mindset while planning the training schedule for my next marathon (details to come) makes me ecstatic instead of frustrated. 

My "friends" Shiraz, Chianti and Malbec

And since the weather in Philly isn't exactly spectacular right now, there's no need to trek out in 6 inches of snow for a run/shuffle; instead, I can safely do yoga in my apartment and hope the people in the brownstone across the street aren't looking across the way into my window and watching my ass fall over. 

While cross-training and yoga (mainly yoga) will never be as enjoyable as a brisk run, at least I have some "friends" waiting for me after my workout. 

What are some tricks you use to keep your training "balanced?" 


  1. I ran seven days a week after college, too. Then...I got hurt. Super hurt. And I DID quit, insomuch as I couldn't run. That was a hard pill to swallow, but it taught me the lesson I needed that running myself into the ground is, in 99 percent of cases, a terrible idea. And you're right - crappy winter weather is a wonderful reason to not push it.

  2. This is really important to me too! I cross train 1-2 times per week and make myself take a rest day once every two weeks. I also love yoga and stretch A LOT to help with stress and muscle tightness. I HATE THIS WEATHER!

  3. Nothing like "good friends" after a good workout! Were you able to see that movie? I think it may have only been showing in theaters last night. I'm hoping it's out on dvd soon!

  4. @Jordan: No, I didn't see the movie. I think you're right though - it was only out for one night. Hopefully, a DVD is soon to follow!

  5. I love me some Zumba! It is amazing! :)