Today is "Cyber Monday," when thousands take a break from shopping the old fashioned way and go online for their holiday buying as they return to the workplace. At this time of year, runners should also think about taking a break - - from running.
One of the contributors to my upcoming book, author and former Olympian Jeff Galloway, believes rest is the most important training principle for a runner. “Without enough rest after the stress,” he says in Marathon: you can do it! “the muscles are driven to exhaustion or injury. Stress must be balanced by rest in sufficient quantity and quality for adequate growth." Indeed, many of the world-class athletes and authors I have contacted for tips and advice give the same recommendation: don't overdo it. Rest can come in the form of easy training days that follow hard days, easy training weeks that follow hard weeks, and days off with no running at all.
With all the miles Ultra running superstar Scott Jurek puts in, you’d think he has little, if any, time to rest. Think again. As he writes on his blog at www.scottjurek.com, “I’ve always taken 4 – 6 weeks off at the end of every race season to let my muscles and mind mend from the long months of hard racing and training. I truly believe this recovery period has been instrumental in enabling me to churn out top race results year after year.”