Why It’s Good To Take A Running Break

While I haven’t entered loads of races this year, I’ve steered towards longer distances and have had less opportunity to have a proper running break.

This has meant longer training, more diligence, considerable mental strength when running, and an eventual feeling that running has taken over my life.

In short, I need a break.

Woman running in crop top.

I’ve really enjoyed the progress I’ve made with my running this year. I’ve challenged myself and fulfilled new goals.

However, in the weeks leading to my final race, The Eden Project Marathon, I was feeling physically fatigued.

My long runs gradually became a chore and inconvenience. I certainly need a break from long training runs of 3 hours plus, and probably from racing. It may not last long but I’m going ease off a bit and not think about racing until 2018. (famous last words – ok, I may do The Scrooge)

As all runners know, rest is as important as running. It’s all part of the training. I’m quite good at using my rest days for exactly that.

There are other good reasons for taking a running break, or at least easing off, and having a bit of race respite.

Photo from above showing a cup of tea and book on person's lap

Here are my reasons for taking a break:


I know I’ve mentioned this already, but I’ve been ignoring what my body’s telling me, which is to stop.

I’m not someone who churns out 50 miles a week so there are other runners who happily maintain more miles.

For me, I think I’ve reached my limit, especially when I factor in how busy my life is. This isn’t just about number of miles per week. When I look back, I’ve been training for longer distances for almost 12 months without much of break.

I’ve had the odd enforced week here and there, defined by the school holidays, but aside from that, it’s been relentless.

Person sleeping in bed

I Need Some Free Time

Having to squeeze the majority of my runs and training into school hours on my days off, has meant any free time has become almost non-existent.

Finding the time to do the weekly shop, let alone do the housework, was becoming an impossible task. I miss having a free afternoon, meeting a friend for coffee, or pottering around Truro, just because I can.

In the days running up to the Eden Project marathon, I was resting and child free, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I actually sat down a lot (like you’re meant to) and watched a film.

It was nice!

Lady having a break and reading a book


I’m almost fed up with hearing myself go on about my sciatica and all the associated pains and niggles. Officially I’m not injured but by sciatica has returned. This is partly my own fault.

I’m terrible at stretching after running and don’t do any strength training. I know if I did it would help. My physio tells me my back is sensitive and I need to keep it healthy. I’ve promised myself I’ll make more of an effort from now on.

Man running on a road

Taking The Pressure Off

While it hasn’t been race after race for me, I carefully planned my race calendar, and chipped some races off the list this year. This has meant I’ve consistently had goals in mind and a focus (which I need).

Throughout the year, I’ve been looking towards the next race and prepping accordingly. I need not to for a while. I want to run just for the sake of it and enjoy it rather than think about my pace or mileage.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t have other races in mind for next year but I’m looking forward to taking the pressure off. It means my days won’t revolve around running for a while, and I feel positive about that.

Well, for now anyway.

Lady in bed with legs in the air

What are your reasons for having a running break? Or are you someone who just keeps going?

Another question is, how long do you have a break for? (I’m a few weeks in and I’m itching to go for a run!)


Author: plbedford

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  • I was hoping to do a marathon in April but badly sprained my ankle in May and it still isn’t totally healed. Haven’t been able to run properly since I sprained it, I’m officially on the longest ‘rest’ period ever. Can’t wait to get back to it though