Let’s talk about not running for a minute. Instead, let’s talk about rest! A very important part of running.
Rest days are kind of a personal thing for runners, just like training plans. Everyone is different and different things work for different people. What some people consider “rest” others consider exercise. When one person needs three days of rest, another may only need one. Each runner is different and have their own definitions, figuring out your definition is all part of your running journey.
I have always fallen into the one FULL day of rest category. As in one day a week, I do not exercise at all. It took me a while to get to the point that all the other days were filled with running (they might have been filled with other things before), but for the last couple years I have pretty much been running 6 days a week. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for other things which is why I don’t do much other than run. If I am going to exercise, I just want to run. That’s just me. If I do want to incorporate other activities (yoga or cycling), then it takes some serious planning or backing off of my running to fit it all in and not be overdoing it.
While writing out the recaps for weeks 3 and 4 of my North Face 50M training, I noticed that I had been doing yoga on my rest days. On those days I really didn’t think much of it, especially since I was mostly going to yoga for the stretching. But as I started looking closer at my training in a week format back to back, I realized that doing yoga on my rest days hadn’t given me any full days off to do nothing. As much as I wanted to incorporate yoga into my routine, I knew I had to change something. Not only is yoga not in my personal definition of rest, I actually think yoga is pretty tough! I am sore after and I break a sweat during it. So last week I moved my easy run day to yoga day and went from there. This week I took another full rest day.
When I brought up the topic in those recap posts, a friend of mine and I started emailing back and forth about it because it hadn’t really occurred to her either. Then this weekend she texted me a picture of something she saw in her Runner’s World calendar. It echoed exactly what I had thought when I realized I was breaking my rule.
I am a big believer in taking a day off. Not only for physical benefits but for mental as well. As much as I adore running, it’s so nice to just have a day of nothing.
Where do you stand on rest days? Do you do some sort of exercise every day of the week? Do you take a complete day (or more!) off of exercise?