Every once in a while, it has to happen.
I highly recommend it.
Whether you’re a gym warrior, a daily walker, a zoomba queen, etc., there’s something very refreshing about taking one, two, three or even four weeks off from your regular routine. It can literally help ward off an injury, as your body is able to recover and repair all of the nicks and muscle tears that have taken repeated abuse.
The first time I took a week long break after hitting some high weekly running mileage, I felt really, really strange. I felt as if all of my hard earned efforts were suddenly going to deflate like a giant air balloon. One week of…nothing. It just felt plain wrong.
But then, something wonderful happened.
By the end of the week, I wanted desperately to be running again. I missed the chill of the winter air and I missed the crunch beneath my feet. I missed making goals. I felt, in one word, refreshed. Both physically and mentally.
I try to take at least one or two running hiatuses per year. Or whenever I feel that I’m getting tired of the routine of getting up early in the morning to hit the roads (yes, it happens!) I don’t set a hard and fast rule of when to do it, but I will say that it seems to happen in January or February when the negative temperatures start to climb. 😉
This is my current running hiatus plan:
Week 1: No running. Walk as desired (probably not very often considering the dark mornings/nights and -0 wind chill factors!). Two sessions of yoga to keep me loose and happy.
Week 2: Cut normal weekly running mileage in half. Run 3 times only and keep long run to 2/3 normal mileage. Two sessions of yoga. 30 minutes of indoor biking, twice per week (which my sister is so graciously letting me use for the week!)
Week 3: Bump running back up to 5x per week but keep total weekly mileage to 3/4 normal mileage. Two sessions of yoga.
Week 4: Resume normal running routine. Two sessions of yoga.
QUESTION: Have you ever taken a running or workout hiatus? What do you feel are the pros and cons?