It’s important to take a break from training at some point during the year. The most popular reasons to take a break include physical, mental and emotional recovery. Recovery is important because endurance sport can really take a toll on you. Articles will be written at length about the damage in these areas and how time off is the answer. There is deep truth in this and yet it is often lost on many athletes who just cannot stop for fear of losing what they have in place. The irony is that often when we lose a bit of fitness we set ourselves up to reach an even higher bar upon return.
But there is another reason to take a break and that can be summed up in one simple sentence; “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Sometimes you need to take a break simply to realize how much you love doing something. At the end of the day this is all that really matters. You can be the most decorated champion on the planet but if you don’t love doing the thing you are a champion at, there really is not much point. It’s good to feel like you are missing something because it gives you a greater appreciation for that thing. In sport, the thing you will discover you miss has nothing to do with outcomes and everything to do with how it actually makes you feel when you do it. Physical exertion has been scientifically proven to make you feel better physically and mentally. When you take a break you create space for the “missing it” to exist.
When you really miss something and then come back to it, you will bring with you a renewed perspective, energy and intensity. With renewed perspective you gain a deeper appreciation for the thing itself. With renewed energy you gain the ability to endure a little more than you could before. And with renewed intensity you gain the ability to reach farther than you did before.
Take a break until you miss it- good things happen when the heart grows fonder.