Rest Days from Running - Are they important?

Friday I overslept when I was supposed to run 10 miles. Instead I ran 1.04 mile in 7'56". I didn't get too down on myself. I figured I needed the sleep and decided to go with the flow.

Yesterday I couldn't run when I usually do on Saturdays since darling daughter and I had a more important mission. We wanted to be at the finish line for dear hubby when he placed first in his division for the 'Iao Valley Half. Yep, I knew he would. And the best part is we were able to touch base with an awesome lady, who completed her first half in 2:07 after only a mere year of training. What a rock star!

After the race we hung around so dear hubby could eat and get his special prize. However, being a marine-focused family we were a little torn that it was a conch shell. Beautiful but we aim to keep shells in the ocean even after the animal has moved on. After all, the shell can become a new home for a hermit crab....an awesome example of an animal who reuses to the max!

I lucked out that there was still room in the Kids' Club when darling daughter when I got to the gym so I cranked out 7 miles and felt absolutely wonderful! I felt like I could run forever! I just hope I feel this good next Sunday for race day.

Later in the evening dear hubby began focusing on me and my upcoming race. He wanted to make sure I was going to take two rest days before race day. Hmmm.....sure honey but I will still run, but just a mile each day. He seemed okay with that.

It used to be I would not run the day before a race. Not one step....except for the Front Street Mile with darling daughter before my first marathon but that was more like fast walking so I thought it was okay. But now I think the running is better than not running.....for me.

I was achy this morning. My glutes and quads felt tight. I really wanted a massage last night but didn't want to ask dear hubby to give me one on "his day". I was feeling the need this morning, until I ran a slow and easy mile. My legs feel looser, more relaxed. But I still wouldn't mind a massage tonight.

Rest is relative, just like a short or long run, fast or easy pace. We are all different and we need to train according to what works for us. I have found that I am loving my "rest" days in which I run a very slow mile. It doesn't do too much wear and tear on my body, gets the blood flowing, and helps keep me loose. And we all know I need that with these pesky muscles of mine!

What do you think of rest days? Are they important? How do you rest and recover?

Today I am grateful for:
  • Dear hubby being "daddy rabbit"...think the tortoise and the hare and me, I am the tortoise!
  • Darling daughter being able to brush her own hair
  • Temper tantrums when they are done and over
  • The generosity of strangers
  • My thighs and glutes...yep, the same ones that made me feel self-conscious for so many years because of their "big" size but now I appreciate what they allow me to do


  1. To me, rest days are part of the training schedule. I ran 22 yesterday (hello taper for Boston!) and this morning went for a 3 mile walk w/ hubby and pup. I knew that was a better form of movement for me than pushing myself to run again today. I feel like if I listen to my body, it will work with me on race day :)

  2. Rest days are very important for muscles to have a chance to heal (and grow). My schedule kinda takes care of rest days on its own (I usually get one or two more a week than I would like).

    I used to never run the day before a race either. Now, I tend to do a couple really easy miles so my body isn't too shocked on race day.

  3. I really think it depends on you. As long as you listen to your body and don't overdo it I don't think there is any reason not to keep your streak alive. I can't wait to go home and run a couple of slow miles to stretch out my aching legs after my half yesterday!

  4. Interesting... I still like to rest a day or two before a race, because my legs feel fresh and ready to go. But I could see that just one or two miles would help shake them out, and wouldn't hurt anything. Congrats to your husband!

  5. Congrats to your husband on a great race! For me rest days are really important but I know everyone is different.

  6. Congratulations to the hubs!!!

    I love my rest days, and I feel like my body NEEDS them. But, like you said, it's all relative. What works for you would never work for me.

  7. I used to think that rest days were very important, until I got injured and started cross-training. Somehow as I got back into running, I never found a need to drop the cross-training days, so now I am doing something six days a week - be it running, elliptical or rowing. I do rest on Saturdays, and that one day seems to be enough for me. In fact, I feel stronger, looser, all around just a better athlete because of this new schedule. We'll see how it continues...

  8. I also believe in rest days but I have been known to move my rest day out a few more days this past winter due to bad weather in the forecast and trying to run outdoors as much as possible preparing for my first half. Thank you for sharing in my joy on Saturday. Stiff from the accomplishment, but stoked!

  9. For me rest days are vital...I look forward to them! However no runner is the same. If it works go with it!

  10. I love hearing from all of you on how important rest is to you and how you choose to rest. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Congratulations to your husband!!

    Right now my husband and I are in tri training and we only have one "off" day. We don't run before our races, but right now we have to cycling before them. I do enjoy my one off day though!

  12. Congrats to Hubby first of all. I think rest is super important, but my definition of rest has changed. It used to mean 'doing nothing' now I think rest can easily be a short or slow run to stretch out the legs or something like that. I still have my fair share of 'do nothing' kind of days though! :o)


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