As runners, we search constantly for the point in our running and training where everything is just right. Trying to find the point that is "just right" is a constant concern. If we run too much, we risk burnout and injury. If we run too little, we risk frustration from being unable to meet our goals. To be lifelong runners, we need to find the balance between doing enough to keep us motivated and doing more than our bodies can handle. It has to be just right.
And it has to be just right on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. It isn't a matter of finding the point of balance today and having the confidence that it will be at the same place tomorrow. As our goals change, as our bodies change, as our lives change, we have to search for that new place where everything is "just right".
This is easier said than done. Most of us believe that if a little of something is good, then a lot will be even better. Whether it's running or trying a new diet plan, nearly all of us will go from one extreme to the other before we find the balance point. When we read that there are benefits from exercising 3 times a week for 30 minutes, we believe that exercising 6 times a week will double the benefits.
It takes a while to learn and to accept that a training program has two components: activity and rest. To be successful, we have to find the balance between activity and rest that is appropriate for us. Books, charts, friends, and coaches can help provide general guidelines, but in fact, only we can decide what is just right.