Complete Rest

I keep reading about the Olympic teams having rest periods built in to their training.  I don't take time off completely (unless I'm ill, which luckily I'm not often).  I take rest weeks, sure, when I don't do any speed work but I still go out and do an easy run or cycle.

What does everyone else do? 


  • SB, I trained for over a year without a proper period of rest and it caught up to me big time a month ago. I have now been reduced to the pace is was at 6 months ago due to overtraining. All elites build into their year periods of rest to prevent this. Wish I'd have known earlier. From you post though it does sound like you are taking your rest in a reasonable fashion but its all relative. You don't mention what mileage you are doing and what distance you are training for.

  • No, I take a rest day once a week, when it's programmed into my training. 

    Even if you're only do an easy session, it's still not a rest.

    I'm just returning after a year out; I've been advised to do no more than 3 runs a week at moment, max 30 mins and to rest for the remainder of the time.  I've followed that advice and I feel fine.  The temptation is there to do more, but I'm old enough and ugly enough to know that I need to do as I'm told.

    So, with gritted teeth, I am.

  • I have never thought of taking a complete break but I don't race in June if that counts?
  • I have been training hard lately and didn't really rest up even on allocated rest daysimage . I thought I was going goodbut had the odd ache and pain. Had virus and took a week off and felt a whole lot better plus my running seemed to have improved as a result. Every 2 or 3 months I will have a few days rest.It makes sense.image
  • Somebody needs to tell Ron Hill after 40 odd years without a days rest
  • Choisty wrote (see)
    Somebody needs to tell Ron Hill after 40 odd years without a days rest
    he'd run better if he put his feet up would our Ronimage
  • I'd take 100 marathons under three hours!
  • And run in a string vest
  • Ahhh - I thought it might be a good idea!  It's just when to fit it in I suppose - I have one day off a week but otherwise I do 30 miles a week on average - 2 sessions of which are intervals (Tues/Sat), one long run/race (Sun) and 2 easy/steady (Wed, Thurs).  Subject to whether I get through to Paris I'll either be training for a marathon or a half in the spring.  

    Think I might take a break after that and then train for something else in the autumn as I don't want to miss the xc season so taking a break now doesn't fit in.  

    How long and how to start back after that are still a mystery - trial and error I suppose. 

    Think I'll give the string vest a miss though image

  • Ok - jinxed myself!  Skinned my heels at the weekend wearing my spikes (I've not worn them for 4 years or so due to courses not being suitable). 

    Will be interesting to see how I run next weekend given that they're too sore to be in trainers just now.  Today is day 3 without running and they're scabbing over nicely now.  Worst case scenario - not running for 5 days but as long as I can do that first 'shocker' of a run after 5 days off I should be ok I reckon? image

  • I think people don't take enough rest and worry far too much about losing fitness. I'd say it's worth taking a week or two off a couple of times a year. I feel it's only when I do this that I get a chance to fully recover from the long-term stresses. Also, the fitness loss has always been negligible and it doesn't take long to get it back.
  • Hey SE - that's reassuring to hear.  I'm just trying to work out my race and training calendar for next year and wondering when to fit them in.  After you've had a break how do you get back in to it?  Just carry on where you left off?  Start following a new programme?  image
  • I would start again with just easy running. Ideally you would have several weeks of easy running before starting a specific program. This is important for both recovery and for building a good aerobic base.

    Personally I periodise quite heavily and have structured my training this year around peaking for next June/July. In November I took a week off and have spent the last six weeks doing 99% easy running and strides.

  • ahhh ok - that's really interesting.  Do you just go for one big goal a year then?  I suppose beacuse I'm just in that nice phase of continual but gradual improvement I'm hoping to get PBs across the board next year.  Am I hoping for too much do you think?  At the moment my basic plan would be:

    JAN - XC

    FEB - XC


    APRIL - 5K

    MAY - 5K

    JUNE - 10K

    JULY - 10 mile/ ½ MARATHON



    OCT - XC

    NOV - XC

     DEC - XC

    I think I raced way too much this year (19 events) so I thought that if I aimed for just one race a month of varying distances that may calm things down a bit but still keep me working towards all round improvement.  Any views on how I could/should be structuring?  I tend to take 1 easy day for each mile raced post -race so even if I race once a month I may only be doing 2 - 4 other speed work sessions.

  • I don't have one big goal, no, but I will be having a racing season that will last about 8 weeks. I'm focusing on middle distance so am constrained to the summer.

    Whether or not 19 races is too much depends on how long you've been running and the distances. I don't think there's much wrong with your plan this year. 

    Post-marathon seems an ideal time to take a longer break, so maybe have a break from racing altogether in October. And I'd probably suggest easy weeks after the HMs.

    I think the key point is not worrying about taking a rest when you think you need it. I tell myself that, but still find myself trying to get a few miles in when I'm suffering with a cold or when my legs are shattered ...

  • Thanks SE - October was my thinking too - especially since we have a holiday pencilled in then anyway. 

    I think the problem is that you nearly always feel better after a run, even a short one, so it's hard to convince yourself not to go out! 

    Maybe I'll just aim to do less speedwork and extra easy runs during the winter generally then I should be at even less risk of getting tired.  ahhh the fine balance between improvement and over-doing it resurfaces!

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