Vail Valley running: Be sure to get rest |

Vail Valley running: Be sure to get rest

Greg Decent
Vail, CO Colorado

The warm spring-like weather and longer days can create a recipe for disaster.

The possibility of skiing slushy bumps in the morning and then running in shorts during the afternoon can be extremely tempting, but realizing when you are truly tired can keep you injury-free and feeling fresh for your workout tomorrow.

If you are feeling tired consider taking a rest day. I will admit that I have not always been the best ambassador of this theory, but I have learned to rest in order to push harder for key workouts.

Recognizing when you are tired or overtraining and needing a rest day is important to your success as a runner. When you start a new training program or are maintaining a current fitness regime, be sure you are getting enough sleep.

Typically, seven to eight hours every night will be suitable. If you do have a late night out and are only able to get minimal sleep, consider taking a rest day instead of running while feeling fatigued. I know when I need a rest day; when I do not feel recovered between workouts and my legs feel as if they have suddenly filled with lead as I begin to run.

Realize that soreness and lead-legs are different feelings with different needs. Training will produce a feeling of soreness in your legs, but if your legs feel like lead, then you are overtraining. When this happens, do not attempt to fight though in an effort to complete your workout, stop running and rest. By resting, you will feel refreshed for your workout tomorrow.

Timing is also important to spacing out your training to prevent injury. Realize if you are a morning runner or afternoon runner. I often struggle to run in the morning. I find it difficult to jump out of bed and run out the door without first running to the coffee pot. I prefer to run in the afternoon when I am more alert.

If you know what time of day you run the best, then you can have better workouts without feeling unproductive. If you have two big workouts planned, stretch outside your comfort zone by working out in the morning of the first day, and then in the afternoon of the second day to space out your recovery time.

Vail Valley residents are prone to over-training, mainly because we run on the side of crazy. Who really gets up early in the mornings to run a 14.1 mile half marathon with over a 4,000 foot climb with a smile on their face? Remember that if you want to participate in that awesome trail running series this summer you need to curb your enthusiasm and rest during this mud season.

Greg Decent writes a weekly running column for the Vail Daily.

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