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Why You Need To Rest - Runner Training

Books to Improve your Running

One of the common misconceptions about running is that running every day is the best idea for improving performance. These runners may believe this because they think by running every day they are giving themselves the most practice and the best opportunity to build up strength, speed and endurance. However, this is flawed logic because the body actually needs rest days to recover and improve. This article will provide some helpful information on how often runners should rest and will also explain why this rest is so important.

Joint health is one of the most important reasons why runners need to schedule regular rest days into their training regimen. These rest days are critical because running is a sport which results in a great deal of impact on the joints. The repetitive nature of running results in pounding on the joints of the ankles, knees and hips with each and every stride. Allowing a few rest days during the week will give these joints the much needed rest they need to heal from the repetitive pounding. Without this rest the joints may regularly be sore or inflamed.

Rest days are also necessary for runners because without regularly scheduled rest days the runner is at risk for injuries and issues which are commonly associated with overtraining. For example shin splints and stress fractures are very common overuse injuries which typically occur when a runner is putting too much stress on the body and not allowing regular rest days for recovery. Once these injuries occur they can be very difficult to overcome and a lengthy period of not running is typically required before the runner is fully healed.

Another reason why rest days are so important to runners is they allow the runner to not only recover but also improve. It is important to realize rest days are when improvements are actually made as opposed to during the days when the runner is training. This is because the training process breaks down the muscle fibers while the rest days allow the muscles to have time to repair and strengthen. When this happens speed, endurance and strength are all improved. Therefore, rest days are absolutely necessary for a runner to realize the payoff for all of his hard work.

There are a couple of different ways in which runners can incorporate rest days into a training program. The most obvious days are by having regularly scheduled days where no running or other types of exercise take place. These days of complete rest are ideal for giving a runnerís body the chance to recover that he needs. The amount of rest required will depend on a number of different factors though. Some runners may find as little as one day off each week is enough for them to allow their body to recover. However, other runners may find taking 2-3 days off each week is necessary for muscle recovery. Additionally, most runners will likely find rest days are extremely beneficial the day after an extremely hard workout such as an interval workout. These workouts are very taxing on the body and implementing a rest day following an interval workout gives the runner the chance to recover properly.

Another option for runners seeking rest days is to schedule days in which they cross train or participate in a low impact form of exercise instead of running. This may include running in the water or doing a completely unrelated activity such as swimming. These days are considered to be forms of rest because they give the joints and muscles commonly used in running a break.


The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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