What Can I Do On Rest Days?

I'm sure this has been debated many a time, but was wondering what exercise I can do on my rest days from running.  I don't want to do nothing on my rest days, so have recently signed up to a gym.

My weekly plan is as follows:

Mon - 6+ mile run
Tue - Rest
Wed - Hills
Thur - Speedwork
Fri - Rest
Sat - 5K Parkrun
Sun - Long, Slow Distance 8+ miles

On my rest days, can I use cross trainers, exercise bikes etc. or should I really be resting the legs and just concentrating on core work?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I would look at your schedule first. Without knowing about your history, goals etc- speed work, hills, park run and long run over five days seems a bit heavy. I would probably drop one and maybe alternate every other week or something. There are plenty of threads on here which will tell you how to set up a schedule.

  • I've been running competitively for about 18 months and my main goal is to get my 10K and Half Marathon times down.

    My fastest 10K is 43:56 and I've only ever done one half marathon which I did in 1:43:36.  I'm doing the Silverstone Half in March next year so really want to get my time down.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    well i would say you need to slowly draw out your long run so that you are routinely hitting 13/14 miles. Run mondays six at recovery pace. Add in another longer midweek run at easy pace, increasing that to circa 8 miles as your long run increases. Consider doing parkrun once a month to gauge progress, instead opting for more steady miles.

    Do a weekly threshold/tempo run, and do either a hills or speedwork every other week. Make sure you dont do the two quality sessions and the long run on consecutive days and have one complete rest day. On the other day you could spin or do some plyometrics or other run specific strength work.

  • I go swimming on a rest day.


    You can even use a float (called a pull buoy) in between your legs so you don't have to use them and just use your upper body to front crawl.

    You don't have to go mental, you can swim slow and concentrate on having a good technique rather than speed.

    A relaxed swim, especially when you get into a rhythm can be very therapeutic.  


  • I would have sex image


  • If you are going to use sex as cross training on rest days then be sure not to mention it to your other half. Apparently it isn't romantic to schedule it on your training plan.

  • I'm sure i pencilled in a rest day in the new year somewhere....don't you think he would want to know so that he can be preparedimage

  • Paul, that schedule looks with all due respect badly worked out.

    Hills and speedwork back to back?

    Parkrun as a 3rd quality session of the week?


    Cut one of those 3 out, up the mileage with more easy running, get the long run longer, and simply by those  factors you'll speed up before you get any fancier.

  • If you're planning to do something on a rest day, then it's not really a rest day. 

    So on that basis I'd agree with Steve above and break up the hills and speed work. So maybe  move hills to Tuesday, tempo or easy run 4 miles Wednesday depending how you feel, then carry on as above. Sunday either increase mileage, or make sure you are doing the 8 miler at a decent lick. 

  • Think there's a reason why it's called a rest day!!image

    I don't do anything more than a gentle swim (i.e. no front crawl, no drills, just a nice drift while chatting with friends) or a walk, or medium cycle to work.  Alternatively just do all the chores you need to do round the house, being up and about with loosen the legs and stop you feeling sluggish, but not give them any more work to do and you want to give them time to heal and be stronger for the next week's training. 

    If following the training properly your legs will certainly need the rest alright! ;O)

  • mm rest days are for resting

    Why not just scrap one rest day if you want to train and split up the hills and speedwork.

    Make a decision not to smash parkrun everyweek and on the weeks you do skip the Thursday speedwork

    Keeps it simple

    ps. what did your 10km start at 18 months ago ?
  • I reckon get a beer inside you.

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