Rest days - how to tell you really need them?

How many rest days do you have? Just interested at the moment because I'm trying to build up to 10K and find I may still need 2 rest days. For example I currently run Mon,Wed,Thur,Sat and Sun. Sun normally being a longer run day. I have intervals or hill training on Weds. Sometimes I'll do an easy run on a Tues. Is this too much? I am enjoying running and had no injuries so far. How can you tell if you really need a forced rest day? I know I was tired yesterday I had to take myself to bed early and slept for 10hrs - I normally sleep for around 8h. I just felt really tired and I'm a bit tired today (tues). So I've forced myself to have complete rest day.

8 Replies

  • I think you have answered your own question -- your body will tell you that it is tired or sore. My longrun is now out to 12 klms - and I am having 3 days rest after each one. Two is probably enough, but last time I was still sore after 2 days so I gave it an extra day. The older we get , the slower our muscles recover.

  • Still OK to go out walking though is it? I often do a lot of walking as well on rest days?

  • Don't run that extra day! I started running an extra day for my 10 mile run in July and it's nearly ruddy killed me. I have knocked it off completely and just running every other day again. But injured again now so have not run for 5 days. It's just not worth it, it's really not. We're not ready for the extra work that running that extra day requires. Our bodies must repair. If not they break down. Not surprising really, given that we are all new runners here but are trying to do quite a lot for where we are in running terms.

    I walk on rest days Lizzy, but again don't go mad while you're in training for your run

    I did quite a bit of other exercise when working towards my first 10 k. I did a little programme put together by Claire ?, the plus size runner who's name escapes me. She recommends swimming, and strengthening exercises, yoga etc and I found that really useful. Still do.

    Good luck and take care

  • I second Miss Wobble. It is also good that you are listening to your body and taking a rest day if needed. Good luck woth your training xxx

  • It was probably a good thing I took the rest day then. I'll still go for a walk though. :-)

  • I'm doing 3 runs a week with a 2 day rest at the end of each week - Wed, Fri and Sun runs for me... My Sunday runs are the longer and harder ones so my body lets me know anyway to rest for that extra day anyway (sore legs, tired)... By giving your body time to recover properly you actually get fitter in the process ...


    "One of the biggest misconceptions among runners who want to get faster is that they should run every day. In reality, the body actually needs rest days to recover and repair muscles to get stronger. So, if you run every day without taking days off, you won't see much improvement. "

  • I'm surprised by your question to be honest as an experienced runner you will know to listen to your body. Its the only way to know if you are doing too much. What is OK for many is not good for some.

  • Your body is telling you to rest so its best to listen to it.

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