Confession #1: I barely ran in May after I finished my two marathons and Ragnar.
Confession #2: It was planned.
Today, the day before National Running Day, we’ve decided that the topic is “why a running break might be a good idea.” Be sure to visit my cohosts, Patty at My No Guilt Life and April at Run the Great Wide Somewhere, to see their thoughts on the topic. (And check out all the awesome blog posts below for more thoughts on the topic and on running in general.)
OK, so back to me.
What? Isn’t everything about me?
I’ve taken running breaks in the past. I’ve been pregnant. I’ve been injured. I’ve hated the weather (summer running sucks in Virginia). I’ve taken vacations that weren’t conducive to running. I’ve even had times when I just stopped because I was burnt out.
But this is the first time I knew that I was going to take a major break from running. Yes, this break was planned. No, I didn’t plan the exact end date of the break and I didn’t set any rules about NOT running at all. I just told myself that for a few weeks after the two marathons and Ragnar, if I didn’t have the urge to run, I didn’t have to run. And when I did feel like running, I only had to run as far as I wanted at that moment.
The end result? I ran less than 25 miles after I finished Ragnar. And I’m totally ok with that. I’m beginning to feel the run love again and I’m starting to contemplate adding some long runs into my life. Marine Corps Marathon training should start some time this month, so I’m slowly edging my way back to where I want to be.
Want to know why I think a PLANNED run break is a good idea, especially after a hard training cycle leading up to a long race?
- To allow your body to recover fully from the hard effort
- To head off any “almost” injuries at the pass
- To get a chance to fall in love with running again
- To avoid burnout
- To finally clean up the kids’ playroom (oh wait, is that just me?)
- To have time to cross train more for a while
- And to get that massage you need
- To have time to socialize and drink more beer (me again?)
I know that after only running a few miles a few times (my longest run after Ragnar was 5 miles) in the last 3 weeks, I’m feeling ready to start tackling my goals again.
Good thing too, as 6 half marathons in 6 days is only 3 months away. And Marine Corps Marathon is not long after that…
Have you ever taken an intentional running break? Did you have a return plan or did you just trust your body and mind to tell you when you are ready?
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32 thoughts on “TOTR: Sometimes a running break is a good thing”
I think you deserved a break after all that running!! It’s nice to take a break on your terms.
Yep. Usually my body says stop. This time I stopped before I hit the wall…
I so admire how you can tackle so many long races in a short time span! Glad that you’re taking a break – much deserved! I’m so happy for the theme this week because it’s helping me feel better about my upcoming planned break. I’m not sure how long it will be but I know that it’s needed since I’ve been training nonstop since late January!
Sounds like you have a good break planned. I think we as runners tend to neglect those.
I think taking breaks are is a vital part of training. I take them so regularly I have a name for them: Runbattical.
Nice! I enjoyed my runbattical. ;o)
Sounds like that break really did you some good. That’s really what a break should do. Good luck as you ramp up your training!!
It did. I really enjoyed doing just what I wanted to do and nothing more.
You definitely deserved a break after all that running! Stepping away from something is often viewed as a “weakness” when in reality it truly can be a good thing! I’ve taken running breaks before because I needed to reset before another training cycle.
While I came through the challenge uninjured, I was definitely worn down. It feels good to not have a tired and achy body right now.
I agree it’s important to take breaks from running. I’ve made the mistake before of signing up for too many races at once and feeling obligated to run a certain amount. When it starts to feel like a chore and not fun, I know it’s time for break.
Yes, I try really hard for it not to be a chore most of the time (right before a big race, it pretty much always feels like a chore, but that’s usually only a week or so before taper.)
After all that running, I’d say you deserved a break! I took a break in May too with my vacation in Napa. I didn’t pack any running gear to make sure I took a break and just enjoyed the vineyards.
Good choice! If I take gear along and don’t use it, it mocks me LOL.
i took a similar break after running richmond and the ncr trail marathon in two weeks last fall. it did me good. 🙂
Yep, I’m feeling much more into running today…
A break is SO good for the soul!! I don’t run enough to need a break from it yet, but I do need breaks from my full-time job every now and then! 🙂
I was starting to feel like running was my full time job. Since I’m not an elite runner, I needed to change that. ;o)
I think taking a break can be a really good thing, especially if it helps to avoid burn out or prevents nigglies from turning to injuries. I’m glad to hear you were able to spend a lot of May doing just what you wanted to do!
It was nice. Now to get back in the saddle.
I’m currently on a break due to injury and I hate that the weather is now beautiful and I can’t get out an run!
Bummer! It was hard tapering here in the best weather so far this year. Now it’s hot, so it’s easy to just say no LOL.
Yeah, when I’m training the housework definitely just sort of . . .DOESN’T HAPPEN. So maybe I need my breaks just so the board of health doesn’t show up?? Great post!
My house = total wreck LOL.
I totally hear you on this. For me, I plateaued and then my performance declined late last summer. I wasn’t injured but I just wasn’t performing well and didn’t WANT to run. I took a break. Literally think I ran less than 20 miles during the months of Oct and Nov. Then it took a bit to get back into it. But now I’ve rebounded and broken my plateau and actually enjoy it again!! Good luck getting back into it!
I just need to figure out how to keep moving when I’m not running much…
I recently took advantage of a huge blister and then a nasty cold as excuses for breaks. I figure I might as well take advantage of opportunities like that when they present themselves! I find it hard to plan a break.
This is the first time I’ve taken a planned break as opposed to a forced break. It was nice to relax for a while.
Most sports have an off-season. Where the players can rest up, refresh, heal and do whatever they want for a change. There’s no reason running should be any different. Having the month off (or running at a lot lower level) is just sensible if you ask me.
I love the idea of an “off season”. Usually that’s the summer for me, but I have big races this fall…
Good for you! I have taken running breaks to get back to the Love of running. Sometimes a running break just means me setting the watch to the side. I figure if I’m not ever going to be an elite runner, I should be a runner who completely loves running!
For me, it mostly meant only running when I wanted to for however long I wanted to. It gave my body and mind a break before I start training again.