My totals for this week were zero. I spent zero minutes running zero miles with a total elevation gain of zero. Cross training? Zero. Many runners, both more and less accomplished than myself, will scoff at taking a full week off from running. And that is fine because what works for me might not necessarily be the same thing that works for someone else.
Despite the fact that I count running as a net contributor to my overall well being, I have come to the realisation that I need substantial breaks every now and then to make sure that I don’t burn out. The solution for me up to this point has been to schedule in two full weeks throughout the year where I do not run at all.
These breaks always follow a big goal race, and I spend the week recuperating, reflecting on my performance in the race, and my training cycle overall. And, then, a couple of days in, when I start getting restless and itchy to get out there and run, I start planning my upcoming training cycle. Planning out a block of training, thinking about goals and how I approach each and every week to try and maximise my chances of realising those goals, turns my motivation up to eleven.
The result? When the week comes to an end, I am at the edge of my seat with a plan in my hand, and absolutely aching to get out there and the do the work laid out in the plan. Sure, I lose a bit of flow from the extended break from running, and those first few days I don’t feel very comfortable running. But that extra bit of motivation is well worth it to me because at the end of the day I need those breaks to remind myself of why I choose to run.