Why time off does not worry me

I’ve taken most of the week the 2nd and 3rd weeks of May off from running.

Not done out of necessity, more so because I have a “niggle” in my left calf and do not want to risk it become a full blown injury. It feels almost like a really bad knot, especially during/after rolling it out.

And no, I’m not worries about losing fitness, endurance, or speed. Not troubled at all.
There are a couple reasons for this. 1st is that I know and fully realize that taking a few weeks with reduced training is always more preferable than being injured and taking 3 months completely off. 2nd is that we as athletes actually become stronger when we do not train, or reduce our training load.

Consider this; you do not become stronger while training. You become stronger while not training.

After a hard run or a good weight lifting session, you end the workout weaker than when you started. But wait a week and your body is now adapted to that previous training stimuli. Do it enough and you gradually increase your level of adaptation. This is the process of super-compensation.

I think this ability is something many runners and athletes in general lack, the ability to reduce training load before a niggle becomes an injury. This ability has two parts, first being able to be mindful and realize there is a potential issue, second is being able to let go of one’s ego and reduce or cut training down to allow for healing. 

Kyle

Kyle is a running coach who works with people all over the world to help them run more consistently & be resilient to injury.

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[…] During high-intensity exercise, muscles are broken down, and waste products build up in your muscles and blood stream. How well your body recovers from these conditions determines how much better you are able to perform moving forward. It’s often thought that we get better by working out, but this is only a half-truth. In reality, we become better/stronger/faster while recovering from our training, not during it. #CoachKyle talks about this concept known as “super-compensation” in a recent blog post about taking time off at KyleKranz.com: […]

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Wynne A Tysdal - May 29, 2014

Kyle, what is the source of the chart in today’s post? Thanks, I am enjoying your running musings.

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    Kyle - May 29, 2014

    Thanks Wynne! If you google “Super Compensation” you’ll find numerous charts showing this.

    Reply
Nathan - May 29, 2014

I love this post! Ego plays a big part of why most runners (myself especially) don’t take time off when we know we should. This is a helpful reminder that a few days off is actually a good thing.

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