After a minor setback yesterday morning, I woke up outside again. No, no, my wife did not throw me out just yet; I meant to say that I woke up during my 5 AM run once again, as nature intended. I actually was not planning to be out running again today, as it violates my 5 AM Running Rule #6. Hey, I couldn’t help myself, I am only human (sort of).
As my legs are now beyond tired and completely numb, I wanted to briefly address the reason for our Running Rule #6 and why it was implemented and so fervently enforced to begin with. You see, there exists a huge misconception in the world of sports and fitness, which says that running every day is the best idea for accomplishing results and improving performance. The proponents of this idea claim that by running every day they build up the most endurance and distance. But we, the 5 AM Runners, ask: “What about rest?!”
The body, as we all know, needs rest days to recover and improve. One reason for that is joint health, making sure your joints do not get destroyed too soon into your running career. That includes resting your ankles, joints, hips, muscles and everything and anything else that gets abused during a vigorous running routine. Believe me, even though your mind may be strong and demanding, your body has a mind of its own.
But, beyond simple recovery, another important reason for rest is improvement. During running, and actually during any workout, certain muscle fibers get broken down, which is not a bad thing, however, during a day of rest, these fibers get a chance to repair, heal up and – keyword -improve, become stronger. So, as a result, your speed and stamina will actually improve as well. To spell it out – no rest day, no repair, no improvement!
But of course, I personally neglected this very important Rule #6 and did not enjoy the above-mentioned benefits of a rest day. I guess I am quick to preach, but not so quick to follow my own preaching…. Hey, could be worse!