When it comes to taking time off from your running, there are two schools of thought. One says that time off should be PLANNED. The other says that you should take time off when you FEEL that it’s needed. No matter which you believe to be best, there’s no denying that taking a break from your running is a must every now and then.
If you ask me, I’d say that a healthy mix of both approaches is your best bet.
There should definitely be times in your training in which you take regular rest days. Maybe you like to keep Sunday as a day of rest. Maybe you like taking Mondays off of running because heading back to work after the weekend is stressing enough. You might also take long breaks between big races like half or full marathons. All good stuff.
But what about those days off that aren’t planned per se? These are a little more tricky to gauge. There are three reasons that you might take a little unplanned break from running, outside of being injured…
1. Your physical performance is declining. Keeping track of recent perceived exertion, HR data, and workout splits can tell you if a little extra recovery time is needed.
2. You’re just not in it mentally. We’ve all been here. Simply getting out the door is a struggle. A few days off are often enough to get that fire burning again.
3. Keeping your hobby in check with other life priorities. It’s easy to become so obsessed with our passion for running that we might be neglecting other areas of our lives. Take off for a weekend with your loved ones and leave your running shoes at home.
Everything I just said about RUNNING can also be applied to WORK. Bottom line: Take some time off every now and then and just RELAX!!! You’ll always be better off for it.