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Rest Days (Read 959 times)

coach-T


    I have been thinking about rest days a lot lately. I am back into my own training and find rest days simply because I have full days of teaching at times.

     

    I have more time recently however and am finding time to run really every day which is why I am thinking about this. Sometimes I run a "hard" mile with my dog as an "off day" or maybe just do 2-3 miles slow.

     

    The main reason why I decided to post this however is it sounds like I will head coach XC this year and am wondering what peoples opinions on days off are for high schoolers. I had a coach once that told us to take 2 days off a week at times and another coach that told us to not take a day off once we were breaking a 5 minute mile or 20 min 5k... who is right?

     

    Should I take days off or are slow 3 mile/ only a mile days enough?

    Should my athletes run 5, 6, or 7 days. I would usually say 6 in my opinion since some of them get injured way too easily but I have at least one runner that does not like to take that day off...

      In my experience being a HS runner, coaching middle-schoolers, and being around high-schoolers (before the restraining order, anyway) ... everyone's different.  Some are bulletproof, others are fragile, most are in the middle somewhere.  Try to teach them to listen to their bodies, push themselves a little, but be prepared and mentally able to take a day off.  Even adults don't seem to appreciate the value of rest/recovery as part of training, and kids can easily get caught up in that thinking.

      “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

        In my experience being a HS runner, coaching middle-schoolers, and being around high-schoolers (before the restraining order, anyway) ... everyone's different.  Some are bulletproof, others are fragile, most are in the middle somewhere.  Try to teach them to listen to their bodies, push themselves a little, but be prepared and mentally able to take a day off.  Even adults don't seem to appreciate the value of rest/recovery as part of training, and kids can easily get caught up in that thinking.

        +1.  A good advice.  

         

        For high school kids, the difference is more on their attitude than physical.  You shouldn't restrict a young teenage kids who would like to excel.  The biggest thing you can do, as a coach, is to teach them how to train properly and encourage them not to be afraid of expanding the envelope.  I once was stupid (well, still am I guess...) and thought I would go out and run 2k as fast as I could everyday (well, not quite everyday but every day I trained).  Took me less than 10-minutes...  I was 13 or 14 and didn't have any guidance.  Then I came across Lydiard's book.  You'd be surprised how much your body can handle--hate to say but it's NOTHING like wondering whether or not to take a day or two (per week) off when you're running 1-3 miles a day.  I'm talking about a teenage kid running 50-60 miles a week.  As long as you keep it balanced, balance between hard effort and easy effort.  I was running 18-miles, or 2 hours, without ANY problem when I was in high school.  I started to flirt with the idea of running twice a day in my junior year and I would VERY STRONGLY recommend anybody who wants to be good to try that.  Just make RUNNING a part of your life-style.  20-30 minutes jog at easy effort every morning won't hurt young kids one bit.  

         

        Along with morning run, another thing you can teach young kids is the value of checking their morning HR.  Make that a habit.  Sometimes it's hard for a young aspiring kid to "listen to their body" to take a day off.  But if they understand what those objective numbers mean, they will.  If they are really serious about their sport, they should actually check their morning weight and hours slept.  These are 3 things we incorporated in our Recovery Indicators Index.  They should develop enough discipline to look into these hard numbers and, if they are off, they should take it easy or take a day off regardless--they are hard numbers.

         

        You can be overly protective and conservative with young kids.  I remember, when I was in college and went back and visited my high school, our coach had me take a bunch of kids out for a long run.  I tried to make it fun, we went up and down the mountain and through some rugged cross country courses...a couple of freshman kids were hurting.  But we kept the effort at THEIR effort level, sometimes we stopped and walked; but all of us ran (with a few walk breaks) 1:30.  For some, it was the first time over an hour.  Like I said, some of them were hurting.  But I got a letter from the coach afterwards and he told me that they all actually enjoyed it and got so strong afterwards that they made 1:30 run over the mountain (a small mountain) a regular routine.  As a coach, you need to identify this fine line but it's a sin to take the opportunity to young kids to grow by being overly conservative.

        coach-T


          Part of my contemplation here is that I am at a boarding school where they have to be in a sport every season... I have a few hockey/lacrosse players that want to be successful but do not want to do work.. if I ask them to listen to their bodies they always say they need a day off but get overly competitive and work quite hard when asked... therefore the feedback I am getting back is hard to interpret. 

            Part of my contemplation here is that I am at a boarding school where they have to be in a sport every season... I have a few hockey/lacrosse players that want to be successful but do not want to do work.. if I ask them to listen to their bodies they always say they need a day off but get overly competitive and work quite hard when asked... therefore the feedback I am getting back is hard to interpret. 

             

            That's why a coaching is an art, not a science. I think the best tactic is always to explain your reasoning to them in clear language that is not patronizing. Be honest and direct about their lack of consistent work ethic, while working to show them how they can improve. The best coaches have clear expectations and know how to help their athletes meet them.

             

            Good advice from Clive and Nobby above.

              That's why a coaching is an art, not a science. I think the best tactic is always to explain your reasoning to them in clear language that is not patronizing. Be honest and direct about their lack of consistent work ethic, while working to show them how they can improve. The best coaches have clear expectations and know how to help their athletes meet them.

               

              Good advice from Clive and Nobby above.

               

              ...and from Jeff. 

               

              Regarding "Be honest and direct about their lack of consistent work ethic" I would say the way you phrase it makes a huge difference.  You can say you have known students who lacked work ethic, or "everyone knows" kids who will try to shirk; that works a lot better than directly saying YOU aren't getting the job done, or worse, YOU are being lazy.  So, I guess I'm saying it's good to be direct in an indirect way.

              Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                The tactics of engaging with students can not be generalized into a set of rules.

                 

                However, my sense is that most young people already know what you think of them, and if you don't express it directly they will see you as either soft or as a hypocrite [the two deadly sins according to adolescent individuals.] In my opinion, the very best thing to do is just to say what you think and let them sort out to what extent they want to be offended.

                 

                The primary exception to this approach is when you yourself don't know what you think. This, of course, being a pretty damn normal state of affairs.

                  Yes.  Just saying one should be careful to be honest in a friendly, not demeaning way, and it's good to set out your expectations in a more general sense rather than with finger-pointing.

                  Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                    Nobby:

                     

                    Can you explain morning heart rate to me?

                     

                    I don't own a monitor (the answer might be "Buy one!") but best I can tell, my resting rate is about 55 in the AM, and when I go as hard as I can on a stationary bike in the gym, I can get it up to about 165.

                     

                    I bought Healthy Intelligent Training, and I really enjoy paging through it, but some of the science is a bit over my head, and it's also aimed a bit more at top, younger 800-1,500 runners.

                     

                    But the theory behind a solid base obviously still applies, and we're entering our offseason here in South Florida, so I want to ramp up my mileage (understanding it's 56-year-old mileage, not 25-year-old mileage). So I'm embracing very easy runs (10-minute range, even a bit slower) and also days off (or in the gym) now and then.

                     

                    So sounds like I'm asking a lot, but basically, if I wake up in the morning, if I got enough sleep and my heart rate is much faster than 55, does that mean you take the day off, or run only easy? How does that work?

                      Speaking of heart rate, I notice that if I'm not eating well/enough my heart rate feels up.  I don't measure it, but I know it's happening. That's not over-training, it's just under-eating.  I think heart rate, like GPS data, is pretty dangerous in the hands of most hobby joggers. 

                       

                      Also, this is something that really bugs me: "MAF" is short for "Maffetone," I presume?  So, why is everyone writing it in all caps, like it's an acronym?  

                      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                        MAF = Maximum Aerobic Function

                        “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                          MAF = Maximum Allowable Farting.

                           

                          It's either this or what Clive said. 

                           

                          (Running is the only social situation I've come across where adults seem to just feel free to let 'em rip)   

                           


                          Prince of Fatness

                            (Running is the only social situation I've come across where adults seem to just feel free to let 'em rip)   

                             

                            Really?  There are more.

                            Semi-retired.

                              There is a maximum? I've never used a fart rate monitor. I fart by feel.

                              MTA: mostly easy, sometimes hard.

                               

                              MAF = Maximum Allowable Farting

                               

                                Nobby:

                                 

                                Can you explain morning heart rate to me?

                                 

                                I don't own a monitor (the answer might be "Buy one!") but best I can tell, my resting rate is about 55 in the AM, and when I go as hard as I can on a stationary bike in the gym, I can get it up to about 165.

                                 

                                I bought Healthy Intelligent Training, and I really enjoy paging through it, but some of the science is a bit over my head, and it's also aimed a bit more at top, younger 800-1,500 runners.

                                 

                                But the theory behind a solid base obviously still applies, and we're entering our offseason here in South Florida, so I want to ramp up my mileage (understanding it's 56-year-old mileage, not 25-year-old mileage). So I'm embracing very easy runs (10-minute range, even a bit slower) and also days off (or in the gym) now and then.

                                 

                                So sounds like I'm asking a lot, but basically, if I wake up in the morning, if I got enough sleep and my heart rate is much faster than 55, does that mean you take the day off, or run only easy? How does that work?

                                No, the answer would be "use your fingers and a watch!!" ;o)  You should check the RHR under the same condition each day--usually people do it first thing in the morning.  Again, it should be checked under the same condition; standing or sitting or laying down position matters; no coffee drinking before you check it because caffeine affects it...  Just make sure you won't fall back to sleep (oh, many times I've done that...).  It really does't matter if you're a 16-years-old or 60-years-old; whether you're running 120 miles a week or 20 miles a week; or whether you're running them at 6-minute-mile pace or 16-minute-mile pace.  You check your RHR each day, under the same condition; if your RHR is quite a bit higher, say, more than 10%, then it's a good sign that you're not quite recovered from the stress from the previous day(s).  And, for your information, Nader (if you meant it this way), it doesn't matter if the stress comes from training, work, mental stress, anything.  Your RHR higher, that means, with a good probability (wouldn't say FOR SURE), that you're still stressed out.  

                                 

                                We use 3 things--morning HR, morning weight and hours slept the previous night.  These are most easily measured, won't take too much time to check and, according to Dick Brown, 3 of something like 11 factors that affects your training--meaning, if you ignore these signs, chances of getting injured or getting sick in the near future is significantly higher.  Dick had developed a formula that, as a combination of these factors, depending on certain %, these Recovery Indicators Index would tell you to either (1) go ahead and do the planned workout, (2) take it easy (do the shortest suggested duration at the slowest suggested pace), (3) just jog easily or (4) take a day off.  That should be simple enough.

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