7 Benefits To Taking A Scheduled Rest Break From Running
With the 50K only days away now, I’m officially in hibernation. There will be no more running until that minibus leaves me off at Ballywalter.
I haven’t been tracking my diet or giving in to shame for eating junk food either. Fuck shame and dieting. Sometimes everyone needs a week off from both.
My original plan this week was to run a 9 miler to make it a 40 mile week however I don’t see the point in tiring myself out just to make up an arbitrary weekly mileage figure.
Its more important for me to be well rested for the 31 mile run so that I can run strong and be more confident of covering marathon distances without stopping in future.
Here are 7 benefits that I’ve found of taking a rest period from running.
- You start to feel human again – As a runner you can feel like a freak if you’re hobbling around all the time and fatigue is at 10. You start to question why you’re pushing yourself so hard and wonder if it is worth it. Joe Bloggs in the supermarket isn’t crawling like he’s shit himself. Unless of course he has shit himself.
- You start to see your training in perspective – It’s easy to become lost in your own mind when it comes to mileage, pace and intensity. Sometimes a rest day provides a way to take a step back and reflect on not only your current schedule, but your year. I keep thinking I’ve failed so far this month as my average run speed is down to about 6.1 mph. When I’m training hard, I obsess over small details and fail to see the bigger picture.
- You will feel stronger on your return – If you plan a scheduled rest period and enjoy it then you’ll come back refreshed and stronger. This is particularly important if you’re nearing race day and you want to fit in as many runs as you can before it starts. Sometimes it’s best to have faith in your body and in your training so far. That’s easier said than done though. One more run will always fix everything in your restless mind.
- You are more likely to sustain your current level of running over the long term – If you’re running regime is enjoyable and manageable, you’ll want to keep going with it! Consistency is a massive part in becoming stronger as a runner.
- You will have time to make plans – This relates to my point about perspective. Once you see where you are with your running, you can make plans for the coming months or even year. What’s stopping you now from under-taking a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon or ultra challenge? You’re limited by what you think is possible (and gravity/your cookie addiction). Get dreaming and moving!
- You will overcome the depression that comes with running too much – Running in moderation helps improve my state of mind. Putting myself through a 52 mile week after running 62.5 miles only a fortnight before has left me feeling very depressed within myself indeed. I’m finally starting to overcome it. For a while I was almost zombie-like and I didn’t see much of a future. I couldn’t even feel hatred anymore. And what’s an Angry Jogger without his hate?
- You will have time to explore other activities you’re interested in – I’ve read my first book in 6 months. It was Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Breakfast of Champions’. I still get up at 5am in the morning, but instead of running I just read for an hour or two and relax in bed. I’ve decided I’m gonna read only the books I wanna read now. Can’t be fucking annoyed with any of the awful Classics shit that we’re meant to read to appear intelligent.