People hear the word “rest” and thoughts of a bed and warm covers come into their head.  Lazy mornings with waking up super late and maybe even sunny beaches and vacations…… aaah  However, in running terms, while we can have these kinds of planned days and other longer down periods,  rest means something completely different.   Do you rest?

On Rest….

Rest is essential in a runner’s schedule.  Rest promotes muscle recovery and, with recovered muscles, better workouts.  Better workouts in turn lead to faster running and better performances.   Better performances – well, I don’t know who isn’t happy with a good performance, particularly if it makes you satisfied.  Self satisfaction and personal growth is a huge part of running.   Note that I did not mention time once, as one person’s success is different from any other’s.  One of my friends just qualified for the Olympic trials in the marathon.  Another friend finished her 3rd track workout ever.  Completely different worlds – but the same satisfaction for both runners.

Rest as a Tool….

Even streakers – people who have run a minimum of, say 3 miles a day for 25 years, get rest.  That is because rest is relative to the runner.  A beginner running 12 miles a week should get a different rest than an experienced marathoner running 60 miles a week.    The streaker might use a very slow 3 miler as his rest day in between a track workout and a 10 mile run.  The beginner runner might be running every other day – they are not yet able to run 20 miles per week and, if they do, they might be risking injury.  The marathoner might be taking off once a week or have a couple of days with low/slow mileage in between.

The Alternative….

Run fast, run hard and run long……  Keep on doing that – every day and you will be asking for trouble.  There are only so many miles per week an athlete can run before their body begins to wear down.  This is enhanced as you get older and if you have had previous injuries, etc.   The more you don’t allow your body to recover, the more chance your body will be in position to get injured.  There are exceptions, of course.  You all know the runner that can run many miles a week for 30 years and not get injured; however, the majority of people will slowly burn out / get injured without rest.  This is planned rest, mind you, not rest because you are sick or injured.  Healthy rest!

Especially if you want a long running career, please listen to your body – give it some planned rest and everyone will be happier!

Trials of Miles,

Coach Nick

Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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