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Rest Days and the Elites

My coach has me on a 6 day a week running plan. This is a little more than I am use to running but I’m happy to do it as long as I don’t get injured. I think that if I go easy when I should go easy and go hard when I should go hard, I’ll be just fine. But I’m still doing my yoga poses every morning to be on the safe side.

Yesterday after my 10 miler, I decided I was really looking forward to my rest day today. We were having brunch for my dad’s birthday so it was a perfect day to take it easy. However, as in typical Tracie fashion, before I went to bed last night I set the alarm clock for 7 am (which is the latest I ever sleep in) and planned out my strength training session. Mario’s reaction when I woke him up this morning to go to the gym: “Geez Tracie, do you ever take a rest day?”. Ummm, not if I can help it. 

Rest days are important. Rest is essential in helping the body to recover. After my speed workouts on Tuesday, I still do a mid week long run but it’s an easy run. My body needs time to repair itself. I started wondering how the elites address rest and how many (if any) rest days do they take.

Since Ryan Hall became a self coached athlete, he takes every  Sunday as a day of rest. Kara Goucher, who previously refused to take a day off and suffered a stress facture in her hip, now takes one day a week off and emphasizes the importance of listening to your body. Meb Keflezighi typically trains a little longer before he takes a rest day. According to this article from Power Bar, he only takes a day off every two months. Deena Kastor is also a big believer in rest days and after a marathon, she takes off an entire month.

I’m all for taking a day off when my body is asking me to do so. But I also want to make sure I’m doing the strength training that I need to be doing in order to prevent injury. My body benefits from a day off from running once a week but as long as my body says it’s ok, I think I’ll still use my one day off for a little strength training or yoga. It makes me feel better.

Brunch with the family at Fearrington Village. People say my sister and I look alike. What do you think?


Here is to a fabulous upcoming week!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


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