photo by incase
Rest is an integral part of a training cycle and many runners ignore it. It is just as important as long runs and plays a big role in preventing injury.
Rest allows for an improvement in motor control, mobility, and posture as well as tissue repair. It also allows you to restore fuel stores and gives you a mental break.
There are three segments of the training cycle where runners need to build in rest:
- Training Plan. This refers to the day by day training plan. Alternating overload hard days with easy recovery days. An easy day is a short and slow run, cross training at an easy to moderate effort or "couch it" - do nothin' at all.
- Training Phase. This refers to post race recovery. Novice runners need more time then experienced runners. It is dependent on how hard you raced. Rule of thumb here is one day of easy for every mile you raced: thirteen days for a half and twenty-six days for a full, but it could be as much as six - eight weeks. Runners should avoid strength training for one to two weeks following a half and full marathon respectively and bring it back gradually with modifications. See PB training schedules for a safe mileage progression following a race.
- Training Program. This refers to down time once or twice per year between training programs. It can last for three to six weeks. Runners refrain from speed work and racing (even 5K's). Long runs are shortened to below six/ten miles and total weekly mileage is decreased to below twenty/thirty miles per week for the half and full respectively.