This healthy living journey is one of constant learning. You would think that after two years, I would know everything. (Please note the sarcasm.)
Absolutely not. I hope I will always have the attitude of a student of healthy living. There is so much to know, and new research is constantly being published. And I am always learning something about myself.
This week, I learned the value of rest. Not just taking a rest day every week, which I do. But also allowing my body some recovery time from the rigorous workouts that I put myself through. As I mentioned in my most recent update, I have learned to love exercise. I don't skip workouts because they are a part of my life, my daily schedule.
I do cardio six days a week, strength training two to three days a week. I base my workouts around running, because that is my favorite cardio/therapy. And last week, I put together a new training plan with the goal of running a half marathon in May.
In chatting with several running friends on Twitter, someone recommended building in "step back" weeks into my running plan. Weeks with less mileage and less strenuous workouts to allow some time for my body to recover. I know about step back weeks, but I've never put this concept into practice. Maybe because I'm too driven. Or I'm afraid of losing ground in my weight loss progress. I don't know.
As I wrote out my training plan, I decided this past week needed to be a step back week. I only did two strength workouts, and I ran three miles less than the week before. Mentally, this was tough. I wanted to work hard like I usually do. But I didn't.
And the pay off was an AMAZING run this morning! Faster and stronger than I have felt in a month. I am now a believer in the need for recovery weeks. I learned something new!
Always be a student. Even if you have reached a maintenance level of your healthy living journey, there is still plenty to learn!