Yup, I’m starting again! I love this part of running when we finish up a race and enjoy a running break. Once we were done with the Mad Marathon in Vermont we had a couple of things planned that involved very little running and lots of plain-old-Summer FUN!
One was a weekend in Chicago enjoying a Jimmy Buffett concert at Wrigley Field. It was FANTASTIC!
The other was a week in Siesta Keys enjoying the hot sun and the warm gulf. Any running we did was a leisurely 3-4 miles done on the beach.
So while watching my friends running, 15, 17 and 20 miles for the Chicago Marathon, I am thinking only one thing…
I am so glad I didn’t sign up for the marathon!
Ha! Just kidding… But I will admit, it is kind of nice just focusing on half marathons this year.
So while we take our running break, there is always that fear of losing the fitness level that we work so hard to get. But honestly, down time really does have its benefits!
1. Recovery. After a marathon your muscle cells are stressed and inflamed. If you don’t allow your body to recover, it’s not going to be able to repair itself to be able to be ready for your next race.
2. Risk of Injury. If you are not able to recover, you are putting your exhausted body at a risk of something major going wrong. It is better to take a few days off now, over a longer time months from now.
3. Healing time for aches and pains. Admit it, we deal with minor aches and pains throughout our training. Taking time off allows our body to repair itself before throwing more miles on our legs and hips.
4. Refocus. Giving your brain a break and refocusing on what you want to do in the future allows you to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Now you can look forward to some new goals.
5. Training cycle building. Training cycles should ebb and flow. Rest periods in between training cycles allows you to rebuild your training based on what you’ve accomplished. Then you can move on to your next level.
6. Prevents runner’s burnout! If you take a week off, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you want to get back to running. You really appreciate it after a break and look forward to it again.
How long should your running break be?
I like taking 7-10 days off with light jogs throughout that time. (Yup I said the “jog” word!) And that’s especially important for elite runners. Enjoy the running break. You deserve it!
How do you come back to running?
3 words–Build Up Gradually! Here’s our plan for our upcoming half marathon in Michigan in October. It’s always a treat to run a 4-mile “long” run again!
Anyone else take running breaks after a long race?
If so, how long?