How do you know when it’s time to take a day off? For most runners following a running program to prepare for an upcoming race, they tend to take rest days whenever they are scheduled on their “program”. As an example, many programs will schedule one or two days off depending on the level of training for that runner. Is this always the best option?
Here is the problem I have with “scheduled” days off. I adhere to the philosophy of, “to become a better runner, you have to run more”. Consider that the elites are training up to 100 miles or more a week. Many are running twice a day. Some are resting one day a week, some are not. I think rest is important, and I like to follow the 1 day of rest per week. Sometimes more is needed. When trying to log as many miles as possible per week, without getting injured obviously, it can became difficult with a busy work schedule that many of us “non-elites” have. The scheduled rest day may not be optimal for you as you may have more time to run that day and the opposite could be true for another day when you have a hard workout planned. I advise listening to your body. If you have had an easy week and your legs are feeling great, then you may skip that rest day and run some easy miles. There will come a point in the week when your legs are dead and this is when you need some rest.
Take advantage of it when you need it, not when you scheduled it.