Monday, February 4, 2013

Active Rest: Oxymoron or Novel Concept?

Do you ever think back to an old hobby and wonder why you ever gave it up? Blame it on burn out. Running is one of those activities that people sometimes stop making time for after they overdo it or fail to give their body and mind the necessary time to rest. While the sport requires year-round training and commitment, a body can only train at a high level for so long. If you don’t make time to enjoy cross training and active rest, you may find yourself feeling burnt out on running.

As a college athlete, that’s just what happened to me. After years of high-mileage and intense workouts, I was exhausted and took a year-long hiatus from running shortly after I graduated. During the time that running and I “took a break”, I filled my time with several other active hobbies to recharge my batteries and get back to the fun side of working out. The best thing about taking some time off from running was that I got to miss it for the first time, and I truly enjoyed it again when I started back up. Plus, I found some new activities that I appreciate almost as much!

When the weather warms up, my husband and I love to take our kayaks out to the lake for the day or go water skiing with my family. As you Kentucky folks know, lakes are about as close as we get to a beach around here in the summer. To keep my feet dry and comfortable when I am jumping in and out of the water all day on the boats, I have started wearing Merrell Cambrian Emmes. They are made specifically for water activities, with a waterproof upper, drainage ports, and sticky tread so I don’t slip if I decide to do a little hiking or wade in the water on slick rocks.

I also enjoy hiking. From Sedona to Gatlinburg to trails we have found all around Ohio and Kentucky, my little family spends a lot of time exploring the outdoors by foot. To be comfortable on hikes, you need a moisture wicking shoe with good traction like the Merrell Siren Sport. I even like having these comfortable multi-sport shoes on when I go for casual walks with my dogs in the neighborhood.

The point is that “active rest” simply means taking some time to cross train and do less strenuous exercise than running. These types of activities minimize your loss of fitness during training breaks. Hiking, water sports, strength training, yoga, and other kinds of cross training are also just plain fun, and they keep you feeling young and fit! In my experience, the skills you gain from doing multiple sports usually translate back to running by improving your balance, flexibility, foot speed, endurance, or even mental stamina.

The best part is that there are shoes to fit your lifestyle no matter what it is you decide to do when you’re not running. Talk about a good excuse for a shopping spree! If you are a hiker, lake bum, or even just someone who spends a lot of time on your feet at work, stop by Tri-State Running Company to get some help finding the perfect shoes for your lifestyle. We would love to help you enjoy your active rest just as much as you enjoy your running training.

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