Discoveries from a Running Break

So yesterday I blogged about taking a break from running for a couple months. If you’re not an avid runner, this may seem trivial. But most people who regularly run can probably attest that this can be both challenging, and for some, much needed. It was definitely much needed for me and ended up doing me a whole lot of good. From taking a break for a substantial amount of time from something I was so used to doing on a consistent basis, I actually learned a lot about my body.

Here are a few things I discovered:

-Yoga feels great. Yup, that’s not a revolutionary thought or a new discovery to me, but I had to start the list off with that one. Yoga calms the mind, heals the body, and can keep you in pretty decent shape. Looks like a win-win combo. to me. Also, no running means more time to practice yoga. And since I didn’t want yoga to fall into the boring zone too, I discovered a lot of fun things I could do. Like the scorpion pose. And back-handsprings off the wall. And my never-ending efforts to move my handstand away from the wall. That’s always a fun one.

-No running + minimal strength training really does the body wonders in terms of flexibility.  After a few weeks of solely doing yoga, I was sliding into splits like they were no big deal and rolling into shoulder stands that felt straighter than the wall. Once returning to running, I can already feel my body beginning to tighten up a bit, even with a fairly consistent yoga practice. You want to get your legs behind your head…ditch the running for a bit and practice yoga everyday instead.

-Losing weight is more about how much and what foods you put in your body rather than how many minutes you work up a sweat at the gym. Don’t get me wrong, exercise is an important part of any weight loss program, but decreasing calorie intake is where you’re going to see the pounds drop. For me, running really amps up my appetite. Once I stopped running, I found it so much easier to balance my diet/cravings/meals. I actually ended up unintentionally dropping a few pounds (yep, losing weight from discontinuing running!) because I no longer felt myself wanting to snack all the time. Doing yoga regularly automatically makes you become more in tune with your body. And with less running means less of an insatiable appetite, making it easier to gauge when you’re full. So no, stopping my running rouinte certainly didn’t instantly make me fat and lazy. No worries there.

-A break can take running from a chore to luxury. Since I broke my routine for awhile, running no longer seems like just another part of my same old, same old routine anymore. Instead, those chances I get to run now feel like a treat. I’m excited to log some miles rather than count down some minutes.

What about you, have you ever taken a break from one of your passions? What did you discover from the experience?

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    December 7, 2010 at 7:05 am

    This makes me think I should really give yoga a serious try 🙂

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    December 7, 2010 at 8:13 am

    At first when I injured my knees I was stressing about taking a break. I was never a huge runner, but having to dial down my workouts made me insane. But I do see the benefit in stretching or yoga or Pilates. I’m a million times more flexible now than before. And that’s good for injury prevention. Sometimes you just need a break!

  • Reply
    Steven Rice Fitness
    December 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Hi Grace,
    Great perspective here. I’m interested in how things re-integrate now.

    Since getting into training professionally I’ve stopped doing yoga, so I could have a similar story.
    Cheers,
    Steven

  • Reply
    SheFit
    December 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I think taking a break from one’s passions opens doors to new passions. Look forward to reading what those news are for you!

  • Reply
    Get Six Pack Abs | First Outdoor Ring Practice 8-5-10
    December 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    […] Discoveries from a Running Break « Food-Fitness-FreshAir […]

  • Reply
    Angela (the diet book junkie)
    December 9, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    i’m experiencing the same thing, actually. for 10 or so days, i haven’t been able to run (flying across the world, travelling and such) and i’ve actually LOST 2lbs. i think because when i’m not running, my appetite drops and i’m more conscious of what i eat. that said, i could never give it up, i just love to run too much. it makes me feel awesome and accomplished, whether i lose weight or not. 🙂

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