Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Never underestimate the power of rest

Like most others in sports information, when I latch on to and/or buy into a project, I dive in and like to work as long and as hard as possible to complete the task.

My thinking is: the more I pour myself into this, the quicker it'll get done.

Now, doing this more often than not gets the project done on time, but it might not be the best it could be.

Sometimes when working long and hard on a project, it is good to take a step back from it and take a break.

Since the majority of the people reading this are fellow SIDs, I know what your are thinking.

My pal Dave Parsons stressing out.;-)
"Take a break? Rest? What? There's no way on God's green earth I can do that. I don't have time to stop working. There is just too much to do."

See? I just read your mind.

I get and understand that sentiment. It seems only logical that we must plow on through until the task is done. We see the deadlines looming, we know all that has to be done (and it's A WHOLE LOT), and there never appears to be enough time to squeeze it all in.

Yet, taking a break will do wonders for you, possibly help you do a much better job and complete it in plenty of time.

This concept of taking a break and resting has been one I've implemented from time to time, but the value and importance of it was not really hammered home until recently during my training for the half marathon I will be running in October. Heading into training, my thinking was of the mindset I should run as much as I could as often as I could. After all, I will be running a race which is 13.1 miles long. Shouldn't I be constantly testing my limits and running all the time?

Regularly testing my limits? Yes. Running all the time? No.

In researching on how best to train for the half marathon (yes I researched this because I had no clue on what I should do especially since I have never run more than a 5K before), I learned that running every day is not good. Additionally, I learned that running hard and going as far as I can on every run is not good either.

In John Bingham's book "Marathoning for Mortals," he explained that our body, our muscles need time to recover from a run. After a run, you muscles will ache and pain. Go out the next day, and those tired muscles will again ache as will a few more. To paraphrase Bingham, your muscles need time to rest and recover, and in doing so, they will get stronger.

The training plan I am on has me running a good, hard run (40 to 55 minutes) on Mondays, 30 minutes on Tuesdays, rest on Wednesday, another 40- to 55-minute run on Thursday, 30-minute run on Friday, a good long run on Saturday from anywhere from three to 10 miles, and rest on Sunday.

At first, it just did not seem right no running two days during the week. Yet, as I have gotten deeper and deeper into my training, I am seeing the benefits of those off days. I feel refreshed and stronger following those days and am able to run faster even. While taking days off does not make sense to me logically, I am seeing how it does pay off in reality.

In the sports information world, taking time off does not always make sense - let alone possible. However, it is necessary. We all need down time. We need to give our minds a break and get away from the laptop.

I realize this is one of the craziest times of the year outside of crossover season, but as we gear up the fall sports season, find some time for yourself. I realize the possibility of taking an entire day off is difficult, but what about a half day? Or maybe even leaving work at the office and going home to spend time with your spouse, family and/or some friends?

When rested, our minds are fresher, we think more clearly and we work more efficiently - which results in better productivity.

From time to time, we need to do the one thing that we all say we desire to do: step away from the laptop.

1 comment:

  1. The toughest thing for me if I truly take time off from the rigors of the SID job is then restarting that engine and getting back up to full speed. I'm finding more and more that I'm enjoying not working all the crazy hours that we work in this profession.