Rest Days, Recovery, and a Running Start Date

One of the hardest things I’ve had to figure out as an athlete (I still consider myself an athlete even though I really only compete against myself) is when it’s appropriate to take a sick day.  I am both the Queen of taking too many or unneeded rest days, and also not taking one when I should.  I’ve figured out that if I have a fever, migraine, chest congestion, pain (as opposed to soreness) in a place that would be worsened by working out, stomach or digestive issues, or just feel “overworked” that it’s OK to take a day or two off.  I think when it becomes hard for me is when I’m just a little sick.  When I have just a headache, or a head cold, or feel tired.  It’s hard for me to see that line clearly.  Yesterday I felt all kinds of awful.  Not only was I feel run down from a cold (congested, coughing, generally sickly), I was also SO tired.  I went ahead and did my swim.  I felt horrible when I finished. I was hungry, sick, and also motion sick from the water.  Fortunately I was able to go home, eat dinner and go to bed.

However, I woke up this morning and I actually feel better.  I feel like this is the case with a cold 75% of the time. If I workout, I feel better.  I also saw no real decrease in my ability to swim fast or complete sets. I got in my longest swim yet, 1250 meters.  I’m not sure if it was worth it though.  I do feel more tired today and I feel like today might end up being my rest day instead.  It’s so hard to listen to your body sometimes.

I got great news from my PT today.  While massaging my feet (it’s not as nice as it sounds, it’s “therapeutic”) he said my fascia feels looser on the right (he didn’t mention the left but it feels looser to me) and he seemed supportive of my podiatrist’s goal for me to return to running again in March.  March is only a week away!!  Both the PT and the podiatrist have encouraged me to return to running very slowly, which I’d planned to do anyway.  I’ll likely start out with 1 min on / 1 min off (or 1.5 min off) for 30 min. I’m not a fan of Couch to 5K as I’m looking for a longer workout overall.

Soon I’ll be “hover” running again.

Photo by Nicole L. White

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