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Training

Does A Small Break In Training Pay Dividends?

One running writer thinks so.

One running writer thinks so.

According to one running writer, planning for a recovery week every three to five weeks for marathoners is a good idea. Photo: Globe and Mail

The Globe And Mail’s Nicole Stevenson is advocating something that may sound a little strange for hardcore marathoners: rest. “Incorporating recovery time into your program is just as important as the training itself,” she writes. “Many runners think the more work they do, the faster they’ll get. This is only true if you balance that hard work with recovery.”

Stevenson prescribes that runners should take a rest week every three to five weeks, which entails reducing your mileage 25 percent and “decreasing the intensity level of your workouts.”

She reassures runners that these small breaks won’t interfere with your fitness and thinks they may even catapult runners to another level.

The key to recovery is paying attention to your body. Stevenson writes that runners should look for warning signs that a rest is needed: signs such as feeling overly tired and feeling mood swings. “Often two to three days of complete rest can bring you back to feeling 100 percent,” she notes. “Remember that rest is a good and necessary component to your training.”

For More: Globe And Mail