Complete rest the days before a race?

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J2R
Jun 2015
10:21am, 4 Jun 2015
51 posts
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J2R
Something else I should have added...

Am I right to deduce that if I was able to get a substantial PB yesterday after taking 4 days rest, then it indicates that what I was running into a few days ago was more likely simple fatigue than incipient over-training? I suspect if I was suffering from over-training in any form I wouldn't be hitting a PB after 4 days rest.
Jun 2015
10:47am, 4 Jun 2015
1318 posts
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EarlyRiser
I think that's probably true. And well done on PB. You have some great times J2R.

As I understand it, the classic evidence of over-training is when you put in effort (training), you don't get the results you want/expect (improved performance), you put in even more effort, your performance tails off even more. Negative feedback ensues.

But this is all after-the-event. Warning signs could be ... more lethargy than expected - even after rest time, going down with colds and stuff, irritability, harder to make the right pace on intervals ...

I'd be interested in other thoughts too.
J2R
Jun 2015
11:02am, 4 Jun 2015
53 posts
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J2R
I'm always on the lookout for the warning signs of over-training. I was talking to my other half about this recently, and mentioned increased irritability, and she snorted and asked how she would be able to tell! :) It is curiously difficult to determine in the early stages, though, whether your performance is faltering because you're overtraining, or because you're not training enough, or not training right.
Jun 2015
12:18pm, 4 Jun 2015
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Velociraptor
The evidence suggests that most amateur runners don't taper hard enough, especially for marathons. Personally, if I was targeting a 10km PB attempt seriously I'd probably intend to do something short and sharp the day before, and aim to rest two days before. What I would actually end up doing is another matter. If the sun shone the day before, I'd be out on my bike all day because a bike ride on the training log is worth two PBs in the future.

Identifying overtraining can be very tricky. The early symptoms vary from person to person and the training load we can tolerate depends on lots of different factors - lifetime running history, where we are in the current training cycle, general health, and, possibly most importantly, what else is going on in our lives. People who have to work for a living will never be able to cope with the training load that full time athletes (no, don't tell me that being paid to go running or ride your bike is work!) can accommodate, though many of us try to. And for some of us (I hold my hand up) it doesn't matter. Even when I recognise that I'm coming off a peak and should ease back I'll keep trying to squeeze out one more session, one more race, one more long day out on the bike, until I burn out completely.
J2R
Jun 2015
7:32pm, 4 Jun 2015
54 posts
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J2R
Thanks for your thoughts, there, Velociraptor, and I know exactly what you mean about the compulsion! Whether or not I was heading into overtraining or was just a bit tired, the 4 days of rest was definitely helpful. So helpful, in fact, that I'm wondering about scheduling 3 or 4 days of downtime ever 3 or 4 weeks. I went for a recovery run today and even the day after running the fastest 10K I've ever run, it all seemed very easy, keeping my heart rate down while running at a decent, albeit still leisurely pace. I could really feel the benefit.

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I'm running a key target 10K race tomorrow evening. On Saturday morning I ran a hard Parkrun, which...

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