Today I took a day off from running.
I had run every one of the last twenty days and, with about 45km to get in to close out my week, I wouldn’t gain a lot from running today that I couldn’t gain from running a little longer tomorrow and Sunday. I took the day to let the last of the DOMS drain away from my calves, getting some good sleep in the morning, and have a day focused on getting my work done ahead of the weekend.
Rest is something I don’t always do enough of but it is important. As Ultrarunning magazine has opined in the past:
As hard charging, fiercely driven, superhero ultrarunners, we love to pile up the miles, train until we drop and skimp on rest days. But one of the great ironies about long-distance running is that the resting done between runs can be just as important as the runs themselves. Becoming a stronger runner involves breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissue. Rob the muscles of their chance to regenerate and you risk muscle tears, overuse injuries and permanent damage. Too little rest can also lead to burnout and overtraining symptoms such as an elevated resting heart rate, insomnia, lasting muscle soreness and a sharp decline in motivation.
Three weeks out from the Ultratour du Leman, I took a rest day and I think I’ll run better tomorrow and on Sunday because of it.