Taking Time Off (Read 500 times)

    I pulled off this quote from RTW in the Motivation thread
    I know that I am definitely taking the month of November off from running . . . . My time off, of course, is hardly that; it just means that I won't run for a month. Instead, I will lift weights and swim.
    My question - how many people purposely take time off from running? Is this recommended?
    "If I control myself, I control my destiny."


      I purposefully take time off...but then, you knew that. Smile First, my disclaimer: I think that rest can help anybody, and time off is good for everybody. That doesn't mean time on your butt doing nothing (not that that is a bad thing in moderation) but just that you take time off from your specific sport now and again be that running or biking or mountain climbing or whatever. For people that just jog for health reasons, I don't think that time off is quite as important. If you are just trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, then you can probably run year round and be fine. For people like me, though, that's a bad idea. I am competitive. I race. I hate losing. My first race of the year is usually at the beginning of February (a 10 miler), and my last one is usually in late October or early November (I haven't been doing much in the way of holiday racing for the past couple of years.) I run a marathon in mid/late Spring and another as my last of the year. This year, I ran an ultramarathon in September as well, and next year I may aim for 2 marathons in the first half of the year. My real racing season is the Summer and Autumn months when I compete in the local grand prixs for my team. A long racing season like that takes a lot of energy, effort, and concentration. I have generally 3 or 4 peaks, so there are built in rest periods, but by the time my last marathon of the year rolls around I am exhausted mentally no matter how I feel physically. I just need a little time to recharge my batteries, put a little weight back on, and get ready to start training for the next year. Most people aren't as competitive as I am, but a lot of people are, and I think that having planned down time is beneficial to anybody that races regularly. If you can use that down time to work on some weaknesses with a targeted weight program or cross training, then it will not take very long to get back into shape with the next season. It is also an important part of my season because it gives me the opportunity to recover from the nagging little aches and pains that I have been trying to ignore for months, which is important because I don't want them to turn into outright injuries. So, the short way of restating all of that is that the more strenuous your training and the more serious/competitive that you are, the more likely you need time off for recovery. After all, it's easier to recover from a jig jog than from an intense interval session. If you are just jogging around to keep in halfway decent shape and lose a little weight, then while I still think that rest is important for you

      Run to Win
      25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)

        Thanks. I didn't want to thread jack the Motivation thread so I posted the question separately.
        "If I control myself, I control my destiny."

        Barefoot and happy

          I purposely take time off from running. I think your body will tell you when you need a break. You start getting achy, or your energy level drops, or you get more susceptible to minor illness. Sometimes I take a week off, sometimes a month. My goal is to be running healthily 40 years from now, so I'm not particularly concerned about a few weeks of lost training. It hasn't stopped me from making steady improvement.
          Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
            I purposely take time off --- usually after my marathon (I do one per year) .... I spend that time biking, lifting, taking classes at the gym, etc. For me, it helps rest my body AND my mind!
            2009: BQ?