Sunday, February 14, 2010

Needed Rest Day or Lazyness?

People often ask how I make myself get up early to exercise every morning. I'll admit that it did not always come so easy. I only run 3 times a week, but I do some form of exercise nearly every morning -- weights, core, yoga, kickboxing, fitdeck. I try to have at least one rest day a week, but even then I'll usually do some light yoga because it helps me relax and my body is just used to doing something every morning. However, somedays my body needs the extra sleep rather than yoga and I listen to it. So the question is, how do I know when I'm being lazy vs when my body needs a break?

If I don't feel like working out in the morning, I asked myself why. If I am feeling really tired or worn out, then my body is telling me it needs extra rest and I listen. If I am wide awake and not sore, then I know I'm just being lazy. In the past, these would be interchangeable. I would rationalize it away by saying I would do it later in the day or the next day. Often these skipped workouts would not be reschedule. However, now I have more motivation because I have a marathon in the horizon and don't want to skip workouts. When I know I am being lazy, I remind myself about the consequences of postponing the workout:
  • if I don't run in the morning, I have to run at lunch or after work
  • running at lunch is impractical because it takes too long to change into running clothes, run a decent distance, take a shower, get back into work clothes AND eat lunch
  • running after work hardly works because I'm tired from the day and ready to go home. My body is used to waking up with physical activity and eating after work, so no matter what I feel like I'm starving.
  • skipping the workout entirely always makes me regret it because I always know when I was being lazy and it throws off my training schedule
This morning was one of those days when I had to decided if I needed a rest day or if I was being lazy. I planned to meet friends for a long(ish) run (8 miles) at 7 am in Winter Park, about 10 minutes away. This meant I had to get up at 6 am, which is normal so it was certainly not lack of sleep. I was nursing a headache yesterday, and I woke up in the middle of a night congested. I managed to go back to sleep, but when I got up to get ready for the run the headache hadn't gone away and I was achy all over. I almost made myself go for the run, but something told me this was more than lack of motivation so I went back to sleep for a few hours even though I really wanted to run. I still feel crappy, so I know it was the right choice, but I hate it when I don't get to exercise. It's amazing how I've changed :)

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