In one of the earlier posts, I talked about creating a running plan. Before we create the running plan, lets understand what part rest plays in the plan and how to go about taking rest days. This article/post will help you with answers to the questions that are commonly heard from runners especially beginners as well from experienced runners.
Why rest days ?
- To feel better and stronger during run days after rest day.
- Restore your glycogen levels
- To reduce the risk of injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy etc which can sideline you for a week or more, may be months
- To reduce the stress hormone which can cause fatigue, depression or sleep related problems
- To give the time to the body to repair itself. This is the time when muscles get stronger.
- To reduce your burn-out feeling.
- To avoid getting bored of running.
When to take rest days?
For Beginners, a combination of 4 -5 running days plus 2 -3 non running days can work fine. Other approach is to run every alternate day and rest alternate days.
For Experienced runners, weekly mileage of more than 30-40km per week definitely triggers a rest day, it can be before a long run or after a long run.
Best way to take rest days is to plan them so that your consistent approach to running is maintained.
Most importantly, start listening to your body and learn to distinguish between pain and discomfort.
Also Read : Running – Getting started
Will rest days break running habit ?
It depends upon how you schedule running and non running days. if your fear that rest days will break your running habit then I can suggest you to take up 30 min casual walking on rest days or some form of non-exercise related activity like gardening, playing out with your kids in ground or take your dog for a walk.
How to avoid guilt of rest days? or What to do on rest days?
- Treat rest day as a part of workout
- Plan to do some kind of muscle strengthening
- Plan to do yoga or cycling or swimming
Let’s see Expert views on Rest days
before your mind tells you to stop reading further and take rest!!
I hope that you are now aware of rest days and make them part of your training.
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