My Week Off - 2nd September 2018

Simon - running coach
by Simon - Middle-distance runner and athletics coach

Sometimes you have to take a week off. And not a week off because you've got a cold or because you're injured or because you've just completed your first 100k ultra and can't move. I mean a week off because it's good to let the body rest for a bit longer sometimes.

This isn't easy. The problem I find is that when you're not running, but still feel perfectly fit and healthy, you start feeling guilty.

Every time somebody runs past me I think, "I should be doing that". Suddenly, everybody seems to be texting me, telling me about their latest PBs and I think, "I should be getting PBs". I send the athletes I coach sessions and wish that I were doing them.

Suddenly my meals are a lot smaller. Is this what non-runners eat? It's paltry. I realise that half the reason (ok, 75% of the reason) that I run is so that I can eat more. A runner's appetite takes a little while to catch up with what the runner's doing so I inevitably end up over-eating. But maybe that's a good thing. Maybe I'm getting in a few nutrients that I've been missing out on.

Towards the end of the week I'm not just feeling rested, I'm feeling restless. I don't know what to do with all this energy. Well, I do know what I could do, it's just that I've said I won't do it.

But I've had quite a bit of extra time to catch up on things. That's been useful.

And then, finally, I can run again. And, oh wow, my legs feel so good. I suddenly appreciate how much I needed the break. And I don't really think I've lost much fitness. Certainly not an amount that will take long to regain.

Go on! Take a week off. It can feel like you're missing out on valuable training, but there are plenty of benefits to be had. Your legs'll love you for it.