When I first started running I was so excited. I signed up for as many races as I could. I ran 3-5 days a week. After running a marathon I never really took time off. I may have had a easy walk/run day after the race but then it was back to training for the next big race. I met with a running coach after my first or second marathon. I was obsessed with getting faster, and wanted to stay injury free. She looked at all my races, and asked how long I had been running. I told her about 2 years. She said that I do too much. She told me I needed to slow down, and recover. Well I didn’t listen to her, and she actually fired me. She was not the first one either. I had another coach who fired me, and it was for the same reason.
Well, maybe I should have listened. Three marathon in three months literally took me out. I tore my meniscus and had to have surgery. It took me two years to get back to running marathons.
Fast forward to now. This is my second year of doing triathlons. I train 5-7 days a week, sometimes with two to three workout in one day. I have learned the hard way that recovery is part of the whole process. It prevents overuse injury. I have had plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, iliotibial friction band syndrome, runner’s knee, metataralgia, tarsal tunnel syndrome to name a few. Those in addition to my meniscus tear as mentioned above. I know overuse injuries too well. Also recovery helps take you mind off of the intense pressure to perform. It can sometimes be overwhelming especially with long course triathlons as they usually have a time limit. Also the swim adds another leave of stress for me. Recovery day helps me to step back, and realize this is supposed to be fun, and I am doing it for my overall health.
So my fitness friends please take my advice, and don’t keep people like me busy. I am an orthopaedic surgeon who treats my fair share of overuse injuries. This not only applies to fitness, but other high pressure pursuits. Sometimes we have to step back and smell the roses.