Everyone needs rest. Whether you feel good or not, your body needs rest to adapt to the stress of your training. In fact, if you neglect recovery for too long, you may start to lose strength and speed. This is known as overtraining.

Family, work, and other obligations, in addition to our training schedule, means we continually try to “fit it all in.”  This means that our rest and recovery time is reduced. 

Pay attention to the below markers. If three or more of these indicators describe you, it’s time for a few easy sessions or days off so you can return to running strong.

Weight Loss

A two percent drop in weight from one day to the next indicates a body-fluid fluctuation. Most likely, you didn't hydrate enough during or after your last workout. Dehydration negatively impacts both physical and mental performance, and could compromise the quality of your next workout.

Elevated Resting Heart Rate (HR)

Take your pulse each morning before you get out of bed to determine what's normal for you. An elevated resting heart rate is one sign of stress. It means your nervous system is releasing hormones that speed up your heart to move more oxygen to the muscles and brain. Your body won't know the difference between physical and psychological stress. A hard run and a hard day at work both require extra recovery.

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Poor Sleep

A pattern of consistently good sleep will give you a boost of growth hormones, which are great for rebuilding muscle fibers. Several nights in a row of bad sleep will decrease reaction time along with immune, motor, and cognitive functions—not a good combination for a workout.

Low Energy Levels

Some athletes think pushing through is the answer. But this is not the case. Your body needs rest for peak performance.

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Irritable and Cranky

When your body is overwhelmed by training (or other stressors), it produces hormones like cortisol that can cause irritability or anxiety. 

You’re Under the Weather…Again

You continually get sick. You are run down and your body begins to break down. This means you need to back down!

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Your Workouts are Suffering

If your speed and intensity have declined or you are not feeling strong enough to push to those previous intensities, your body needs a break.

Be smart about your training. Giving yourself time to regenerate, rejuvenate, and recover will allow your body to go further in the long run.

Medical Disclaimer:
Please consult your doctor with any medical issues before beginning a training program. The contents in this guide are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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Anna D’Anna is a personal trainer who takes a personal interest in the success others pursue toward athletic goals. Twenty-four years ago she left a successful career on Wall Street to pursue her true passion – and she’s never looked back. She readily shares her knowledge and experience to inspire others – whether they are seeking a more active lifestyle, or training competitively.
She began teaching Spin classes (and quickly gained a following of cyclists) nearly 20 years ago after being certified by Johnny G’s premier Master Presenter Josh Taylor.  As a personal trainer and group fitness professional, she is certified by ACE and AFAA – nationally accredited certifying agencies committed to delivering science-based health and fitness instruction. Anna is also certified Heart Zones Level III instructor. Beneficial to both those who seek her out in fitness classes and those she trains individually, Anna is also certified in Watts training, TRX, and CPR. Additionally, Anna is a USAT certified triathlon coach and race director.  Anna has been quoted in Runner's World magazine and referenced in “Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise.”  In 2007 Anna co-founded a regional women’s training community that emphasizes shared experiences and fosters a culture of camaraderie and support.
In her personal time, Anna is an avid road cyclist and has recently challenged herself to mountain biking. Anna has completed five marathons (three in NYC, her hometown) and hopes to qualify to run the Boston Marathon one day. She volunteers her time and energy for numerous community organizations and enjoys cheering others on at races, rides, and triathlons. She resides in NJ with husband, Todd, and their rescue-lab, Jax.