If you’ve been running regularly for most of the year, you might be in desperate need of a break.
When it comes to taking a break from running, how do you know how much is good for you and how much is too much?
That’s a good question.
Somewhere a while back, I heard this rule of thumb about breaks, and I thought I’d share it as the final Quick Tip of 2015.
Because you see, I’m taking a bit of break during the next two weeks and only releasing posts/shows on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for the rest of the year. But don’t worry, I’ll be back to normal the first week of 2016!
The Rule of Thumb About Taking a Break
- One Off Day Per Week: Sorry to all of you run streakers out there, but the suggestion is that you take at least one day off from running each week. Letting our bodies rest is important, and I view that day off as every bit as important as the days that you are training. Disagree? That’s fine. This is just a rule of thumb after all.
- One Easy Week Per Month: If you’re training hard, whether you’re gearing up for a specific race or whatever, it’s a good idea to ease off the throttle for a full week per month. Cut your mileage back for a week, add a little extra easy running in place of a hard workout, and you’ll be amazed how much fresher you feel the next week when you’re back to hitting it hard again. Think of it as a mini-taper that will allow you to run with fresh legs again.
- One Easy Month Per Year: This is probably the toughest one to follow, since it lasts for an entire month. But notice it doesn’t say don’t run for a month, only to run easy. For one month a year, relax the schedule a little bit. Skip a few runs, run shorter, do some cross training, just don’t stress about it. An easy month allows some of the aches and pains to dissipate and it allows you to relax your mental energies a little bit and really refocus the following month.
If I’m honest, I’m not the best when it comes to taking a break. Although, I am making December my “easy month” for the second year in a row, so maybe I’m doing a little better.
Between end of the year stuff, family obligations, holiday parties, and not having a race scheduled for early 2016, going easy this month has been pretty amazing.
I’ve still run several times, and I’ll still run several more times before the end of the year, but I’m not worried about the runs I’ve missed.
I’ve slept in a couple of times.
I’ve traded running for biking a few times.
And it’s all good.
If you haven’t done a good job about regularly taking a break in your training cycles, I’d encourage you to consider it in 2016.
And if you have any questions on how to schedule some breaks strategically, just let me know. I’ll be happy to help!
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