Why Runners Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Rest Days

If you can't get enough of the sport, having to take a day or two off every week can be a huge bummer—yet very much needed.

I run because I love it. I plan my schedule around running. Heck, I even plan my vacations around it! But I know that you can’t run every single day—especially if you have big distance or time goals. Rest days are an important part of training.

So while I acknowledge that I have to take rest days, it doesn’t mean they’re my favorite. Here are some reasons why…

I love that rest days help prevent injury. A running related injury is devastating. So even though I want to run every single day for the rest of my life… I know that taking at least one rest day a week helps keep me running long term.

I hate that rest days deny me endorphins. I love the ‘runner’s high.’

I love that rest days give me some extra time in my day. I can do some cross-training (which also helps prevent injuries) or maybe an extra hour to tackle that huge pile of laundry or extra time to eat pizza…

I hate that rest days give me major FOMO. When I’m driving and see someone running along the sidewalk I always think, Hi runner! I run too! Just not today…

I love that rest days give me time to recover and um, REST. The day after a rest day my legs are happy and excited to run. It feels so much better to run on well rested, recovered legs!

I hate that rest days throw off my usual routine. I have a very specific morning wake-up: Coffee, run and get ready. Without running it feels weird and oddly enough, I am usually late on rest days!

I love that rest days give me a little extra time to do non-running, but running-related things. On days I don’t run, I can use that time to improve my fitness by researching races or training plans. I can read a few running articles or books. I can scratch my itch to run in non-active ways that still keep me excited about my favorite hobby.

Question: Rest days—love or hate?