Run or rest?

Body vs brain

“If you under train you might not finish, if you over train you might not start” - Olga Kotelko.

It’s the big question which all runners face: run or rest? This is what I have been contemplating over the past couple of weeks. Faced with tiredness, illness and niggles, my mind has been in constant disagreement with my body as to when I should run. I am not short of motivation. Indeed, if my body would allow, I would run every day. In fact, as my training progresses, I will soon be doing just that. However, I’m a big believer in rest days and the huge benefits they bring for the body.

Rest & Recovery

I have incorporated active recovery days into my training where I will do a light bike workout or a brisk walk or swim. But when I have a full rest day I prefer to do next to nothing and sometimes this is what my body needs to heal and recover. It’s a constant battle between body and brain. My mind wants to run every single day because I’ve built up some momentum and because of the benefits it brings. But my body says something else. And the reality is that at this early stage in my training it’s really not worth pushing it. If I feel run down, tired and sluggish I know that I should probably take a day off.

Training and records

Monday - 5 miles

Wednesday - 3.5 miles

Friday - 3 miles

Monday - 6 miles

It’s been a great week for records since I began training, fastest mile, fastest 5km and longest run means I’m progressing just the way I want to. This is still low mileage compared to where I want to be but 17.5 miles in a week is where I need to be at this stage of my own tailor-made training plan. It’s all about having faith in your own training, listening to your body and most of all knowing when to run or rest.


Manchester, UK

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