How often do you take a rest day from running?

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How often do you take a rest day from running?

Postby veganjoggler » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:49 pm

I am a distance runner/joggler and normally take one day off per week from running. Sometimes two days off depending on how long or intense my runs are.

I often cross-train on rest days by walking or doing a lot of juggling, but no running. Is it okay to do strength-training on my legs on days off from running/cardio? And is it a good idea to do "nothing" on some rest days, or is it a better idea to do some light cross-training? Should I take a rest day even if I don't feel tired? What is the best approach?
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Re: How often do you take a rest day from running?

Postby DC Runner » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:08 pm

I think this is different for everyone. Just experiment and see how your body responds. It also depends on volume and how much you're stressing your body. If you jog a mile every day, then I see no reason to ever need a day off except for life reasons. If you're running 10 miles per day, that's a different story.

Can you give us an idea of a week in your shoes?
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Re: How often do you take a rest day from running?

Postby hakko » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:44 pm

I think many runners also plan their training in sections of 4-10 weeks, with one or two easier weeks. Rather than always having the same weekly routine.

This week, I think I'll do six days of running. In two weeks from now, I plan for three or four, with shorter distances and fewer sets of intervals.

I have a girl in my club who does one-two days of running per week, and she does a marathon in 3.10. But she does strength workout pretty much every day as an instructor.
I know other people who do ten sessions of running per week with similar marathon results...
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Re: How often do you take a rest day from running?

Postby veganjoggler » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:36 am

[quote="DC Runner"]I think this is different for everyone. Just experiment and see how your body responds. It also depends on volume and how much you're stressing your body. If you jog a mile every day, then I see no reason to ever need a day off except for life reasons. If you're running 10 miles per day, that's a different story.

Can you give us an idea of a week in your shoes?


I usually follow a pattern of 4 days in a row of running, followed by a day of rest, followed by 4 days in a row of running, and on and on and on, though sometimes 5 days in a row/rest. I tend to alternate long runs days with short run days. Sometimes I may alternate weeks, with heavy mileage weeks and shorter mileage weeks but it depends. I usually aim for a minimum of 35 miles per week.

A typical week for me would be:
Monday - 4.5 mile run(leg strength training session before run)
Tuesday - 9 mile run
Wednesday - 4.75 mile run
Thursday - 18 mile run
Friday - Rest day (Sometimes leg strengthening but no running)
Saturday - 4.5 mile run(leg strength training session before run)
Sunday - 7 mile run (sometimes upper body strength training after run)

I appreciate the advice DC Runner.
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Re: How often do you take a rest day from running?

Postby veganjoggler » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:33 am

[quote="hakko"]I think many runners also plan their training in sections of 4-10 weeks, with one or two easier weeks. Rather than always having the same weekly routine.

This week, I think I'll do six days of running. In two weeks from now, I plan for three or four, with shorter distances and fewer sets of intervals.

I have a girl in my club who does one-two days of running per week, and she does a marathon in 3.10. But she does strength workout pretty much every day as an instructor.
I know other people who do ten sessions of running per week with similar marathon results...


That is impressive, running a marathon that fast while running only 1 or 2 days a week. I've read from some sources that it is easier to stay in shape than get in shape and 2 runs a week is all that is really necessary to maintain your fitness level. However, if I ran less than 3 days a week I would feel like a slacker. Very rarely will I run 3 or fewer days per weeek and this is usually due to injury, life events, being too tired, or because I feel I am not making any progress with improving my speed. Thanks.
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Re: How often do you take a rest day from running?

Postby DC Runner » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:39 pm

I like hakko's comment about taking a down week every so often. I will usually have three weeks with high volume and intensity, followed by one week with slightly lower volume and intensity. It looks like your weekly mileage is around 50, which is definitely not a small number. Are you considering running on an off day just because you're not tired? If you just really love running and you don't feel tired, then by all means, go running on your off day. Personally, when I'm really grinding through a training cycle, I like to have some off time or lighter stuff to break up the monotony - not so much for physical recovery, but mental recovery. Remember - running is not just physical. As for strength training or cross training, I haven't a clue.

Wow - 3:10 is a really good time and on only 1-2 days per week. That is talent. I didn't go under 3:10 until I was running 60 miles per week.

Also, veganjoggler - I think there is something to what you said about getting fit and staying fit. I can't say that 1-2 runs per week would keep me where I want to be, but I very much believe that your cardiovascular base doesn't go away. It takes years to develop it and then you just continue to build it.
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Re: How often do you take a rest day from running?

Postby bthatch » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:47 pm

It's different for everyone depending on what works for them, but I take 1 planned day off from running. Throughout the week I run and cross-train, so I like to give my body some type of rest so it has the ability to perform its best.
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Re: How often do you take a rest day from running?

Postby kallefs » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:13 pm

I ran 50-70 km a week on 4 days per week. If I were to increase my mileage I would add an extra day.
Dum di dum!
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