Yesterday I had one of the most amazing long runs that I’ve had in a long time. Everything just felt like it clicked and I feel like I’ve found the spark that I felt like I was missing for a long time. I feel re-energized and ready to tackle the Santa Rosa Marathon in just over a month.
Since I switched things up and did my long run on Sunday (typically I do it on Saturday so I can sleep in on Sundays, but our schedule didn’t allow that this week), today is a rest day which always feels weird. In some ways, it’s OK because I am traveling for work (hi Pittsburgh!)… but I like to get a workout in on Monday because it just makes it feel like the week will be productive.
But, one of the things I’ve learned through the years during marathon training, is the importance of the rest day. My first marathon training cycle, I thought recovery runs and rest days were dumb. I mean, I felt completely fine so why in the world did I need to take an entire day off running?
For my body – yes, rest days are so important and needed. Honor the rest day. I try to give myself at least one complete rest day a week, meaning no other exercise and giving my entire body some time to recover. When you rest, it gives your muscles time to repair and recover, building them stronger in the process. Plus, I don’t know about you, but marathon training leaves me exhausted… having a day where I can let my entire body rest and not have to endure a crazy workout makes a huge difference.
I said for my body because that’s the most important thing you need to think about when it comes to rest. All of our bodies are so completely different, and it’s tempting to do what others are doing because it works for them. The Hansons Marathon Method? I know so many people that love that plan, but it’s not for me at all. I need to have a hard long run and a rest day afterwards.
For some people, they can do run streaks… for years on end! I know my body would break down if I tried that (and has in the past), so it’s all about finding what works for you. It might take you some time to figure this out, but once you do, it makes a huge difference in how you feel during your workouts, and how well your body can recover from them.
After all, the goal is to conquer the marathon – not the training. Rest helps us get there. So as tough as it is, just give your body a break (and this is why non-runners think we are all crazy, how could you NOT want to have a rest day!?)
Marathon runners – which day of the week do you typically do your long run?
How many rest days do you take a week?
Have you ever done a run streak? What did you think?
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