Easy like Sunday Morning

Rest days are a big part of the training - don't neglect them

This week’s blog post was in response to a poster in my local running club’s Facebook page. The poster wrote something to the effect of ‘when should I take an off day?’

I didn’t think too much about it - what with the 30 or so comments in response to her question - but then I went back and read a few of the comments…

[Insert head shake here]

I’m not saying I have all of the answers and I’m not saying even if I did that my answers are the gold standard….

So with that being said, let’s talk about taking a rest day - also known as an off day - and when I think they come in most handy.

  1. When you’re beat to shit and work is killing you. Take an off day.

  2. After you’ve just run a really hard race or workout and you’re feeling a bit wonky. Take a day off.

  3. When you’ve got a cold and you’d prefer to not get sicker. Take an off day.

  4. After a long season and all you want to do is relax and be normal. Take an off day (or really an off week).

  5. Limping through a run isn’t visually pleasing and it’s also not doing you any good. Take an off day. And see a specialist to help you.

It doesn’t really have to be complicated. These are just guidelines - don’t feel that after every race you need to take an off day. If you didn’t run at maximum effort level, you really don’t need an off day. For years, if my team raced on a Saturday we still went long on Sunday; we just kept the pace casual.

Friday’s Action Plan:

Look at your calendar and see if you can afford an off day. For me and off day consists of stretching, foam rolling, massaging and taking care of myself. This might be sleeping more, hydrating more often, self-massaging, or doing a yoga flow sequence.

Big Events Coming Up:

Philly Marathon - Sunday November 24th

10k Bridge Run - Sunday November 3rd

What’s Got My Attention:

Article: Alberto Salazar Has Always Lived on the Edge

Video: Donovan Brazier wins dramatic 800 at World Championships

Tweet: USA Triathlon celebrates the Hoyt family

Quote of the Day:

"You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.” - Carl Jung

Connect with me:

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Here’s my blog

Thanks for following along on the journey! Have something you’d like to add? Have suggestions or comments? Email me: TrainwithMarc@gmail.com

If this resonates with you, I would love it if you could share it.


Marc is a middle school teacher and coach but also works with distance runners online. I help distance runners around the globe by providing support, writing customized training plans and designing workouts to help them reach their racing goals. I write for my blog every Wednesday morning and newsletter every Friday morning.