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How important is a complete rest day? (Read 244 times)

    The title pretty much says it all.  All else being equal, how important is a complete rest day vs. something like a 2 or 3 mile easy run?

     

    I'm following the Hansons Marathon Plan and feel like I'm doing really well with it.  In the book they said that one of the easiest ways to add miles to the plan was just to add some easy miles on the scheduled rest day so that's what I did.

     

    I posted a week or so ago about the penguin shuffle in the mornings, and that has actually gotten better lately.  I am feeling good and feel like I've adjusted to the additional volume and right now my biggest issue is trying to keep myself from going too fast on my harder workouts, but several folks have posted warning me to be careful and don't overdo it and don't worry about taking a day off if I need to.  So far I really haven't felt like I was worn down and needed to take a break so I haven't, but I'm starting to wonder if I should schedule a break to make myself take one.  I've hit every workout on the plan so far and I'm about halfway through.  There are days where I move a workout up a day or back a day to match up with good or bad weather (like I ran my intervals last night instead of today because it is supposed to be really windy today), but always make sure I have easy days in between workouts.

     

    So, back to the orignal question.  How important is a complete rest day?  If I added a couple easy miles to some of my other workouts and kept my weekly mileage the same but took a complete rest day would that be better than running a few easy miles on my scheduled rest day?

     

    Thanks, Nathan

    Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

    Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27

      I think this is an individual thing. Some runners really thrive on no days off. Others feel like a day off helps them. In my own training, I have alternated between those two different approaches and have found very little difference in terms of fitness or recovery, really. Seems to me the decision comes down more to what keeps you motivated and feeling good.

        I'm following the Hansons Marathon Plan

         

        .


        I've got a fever...

          I prefer really easy miles to complete rest unless I'm really beaten down.  Real life tends to create rest days for me whether I like them or not, so I don't plan on them.

           

          Additionally, I've always found that even just a couple of really slow miles results in less aches less aches/soreness/tightness when done the day after a quality workout or race.

          On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

            I prefer really easy miles to complete rest unless I'm really beaten down.  Real life tends to create rest days for me whether I like them or not, so I don't plan on them.

             

            Additionally, I've always found that even just a couple of really slow miles results in less aches less aches/soreness/tightness when done the day after a quality workout or race.

             

            This pretty much summarizes it.   I know I've had a lot of days away from running recently but when my mileage is where I want it to be and I'm training well I find that a day totally away from running doesn't USUALLY help me and sometime it takes away a little.    For a while I was taking one day off and the following day my run was really sucky, so I finally stopped taking days off at all (when really training for something) and usually felt better.    Normally, two days were pretty easy and one day would be 3 miles at a recovery pace (2+ minutes slower than my normal training pace) and that usually has worked for me in lieu of a total day away from running.

             

            That being said, occasionally a day will come when my legs are tired and I just feel like CRAP and on those days a total day off or  two can make all the difference......

            Champions are made when no one is watching

              I think this is an individual thing. Some runners really thrive on no days off. Others feel like a day off helps them. In my own training, I have alternated between those two different approaches and have found very little difference in terms of fitness or recovery, really. Seems to me the decision comes down more to what keeps you motivated and feeling good.

               

              I've tried it both ways, too, and I'm definitely happier/more motivated when I don't take regular days off.

               

              On the other hand, I have been unusually injury-prone the past several weeks, and it might be possible that my body needs the day off whether I want it or not.

              ROD in Miami


                I agree.  I've found that I feel best the day after an easy run, not the day after a complete day off.  Counterintuitive but that's been my experience.

                 

                And as was said above: no need to schedule rest-days as life/work/family/weather will give you at least a two to three per month whether yo want them or not.

                  Thanks for the input.  I figured it was an individual thing and everyone's experience could be different.

                   

                  I just want to make sure from a physological point of view that I'm giving my body the recovery that it needs.  I feel good adding the easy miles and they mention it in the book as a good way to add volume so I think I will stick to it for now.

                   

                  I'm sure life with throw me a day off sometime soon and my streak will end on it's own without me having to schedule it.

                   

                  One thing I've been thinking is that if I keep a few easy miles on that rest day, I will be able to justify taking another easy day off if life ends up happening on another day.  So far it's been pretty cool to have a nice streak going, but I don't feel like I'm a slave to it.

                   

                  Thanks, Nathan

                  Age: 46 Weight: 200 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                  Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27

                  ilanarama


                  DREAMCRUSHER

                    I find I improve more when I take no 'rest' days. 21-23 hours of rest per day is fine!  But I agree you should not let your streak rule you.  Listen to your body.

                    PRs: 10 1:12:59 (4/2014) 13.1 1:35:55 (10/2013) 26.2 3:23:31 (12/2013)

                    Last: Dead Horse 50K 10/18: 5:58 | Next: Turkey Trot?

                    bloggy stuff at http://ilanarama.dreamwidth.org

                    Mattchiro


                    Happy to be here.

                      I think this is an individual thing. Some runners really thrive on no days off. Others feel like a day off helps them. In my own training, I have alternated between those two different approaches and have found very little difference in terms of fitness or recovery, really. Seems to me the decision comes down more to what keeps you motivated and feeling good.

                       

                       

                      Completely agree.  Due to work schedule and my wife's schedule, I have to take 2 days off a week.  I couldn't imagine running on the other two days even if I could.  I've learned enough about my body to know that it thrives on complete rest.  Plus, I've increased my volume during this cycle and I consider the rest days to be a vital part of my training.

                       

                       

                      Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

                       

                      Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

                       

                      Next race:  ???

                       

                      Next Marathon:  2015???