Monday, August 29, 2011

How to rearrange a weekly running schedule to accomodate a hurricane

I learned a valuable running lesson from Hurricane Irene.

I live in Troy, in Upstate New York, and Hurricane Irene hit the Capital Region hard last Sunday. I prepared in the usual way, stocking up on nonperishable food and testing my flashlight and radios. I also had to rearrange my running schedule on short notice.

I usually run X miles on Tuesday and Thursday, 2X miles on Wednesday and Friday, and a 3X long run on Sunday after my rest day on Saturday. (at this point in my schedule, X = 2)

Hurricane Irene gave me three choices:

1. Skip the Sunday run.

2. Do my Sunday long run on Monday, which means getting up extra early and possibly dodging flooding and downed power lines.

3. Do my long run on Saturday, without a rest day.

I chose to do my long run on Saturday. I wasn't really aware of how important that my Saturday rest day was to my body until I started looking at the data my heart rate monitor was providing. I was reaching and exceeding my target heart rate much more quickly on the hills, and I had to slow to a comfortable jog to bring my heart rate down after a hill.

I am thankful that Hurricane Irene taught me a valuable lesson. Rest days are in my schedule for a reason, to allow my body to heal and recuperate.

How important are rest days in your running schedule?

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