A Rest Day Is The Surprising Way To Get Faster

It sounds counterproductive, but having a full rest day in your routine can actually make you a better runner. Here's how it works.

Whether training for your next marathon or your first 5K, there is something crucial that is often neglected by women with a lot of ambition—rest (especially in the form of one full rest day).

rest day

Alisa Harvey, USA Track & Field’s 2007 Masters Athlete of the Year, writes in the Washington Running Report this rationale is typical of the overzealous, “when common sense often takes a back seat to a well intended work ethic.” She warns when rest is neglected, training suffers. Adequate rest and nutrition throughout any training process are the best ways to ensure not only performance, but overall good health.

Harvey stresses listening to your body, and responding to both emotional and physical cues that you need more rest. For example, you may experience a heavy burning feeling in your legs while running, which occurs when you haven’t rested enough between runs. Be sure to take at least one complete rest day each week.