Rest Days And Why They Are Important: Half Marathon Training Week 6

Rest…it does a body good!

Training is tiring… rewarding, but tiring. It’s important to put in the miles, but rest days are a necessary part of training.

Why rest is important:

  • Muscles need time to rebuild and repair themselves. It takes 36 to 48 hours for recovery depending on how strenuous your workout is.
  • Prevents stress fractures.  Running builds stronger bones—the impact increases cell turnover forcing  the bone to remodel, without rest it doesn’t have time to repair, which can result in stress fractures.
  • Helps avoid tendonitis. Tendons are connective tissue that hold the muscle to the bone. Tendons are less vascular and require longer rest periods to repair. Without that rest time tendons can get inflamed causing tendonitis.
  • Allows the brain to rest. Running causes cortisol levels to rise (it’s the bodies reaction to stress) without rest you can become irritable, have trouble sleeping, and weaken your immune system (and it’s flu season so beware!). Often times marathoners, who tend to over train, end up sick with a cold or flu from not taking enough rest days.



rest days

This training plan has been intense. A little more intense than I am used to. I’ve been trying to stick to the schedule as much as possible so I will be super prepared for the Agoura Hills Half, but these miles are tiring.  This weeks plan was to run my long run (8 or 10 miles) on Monday, but after spending Saturday at my daughters dance competition sitting on bleachers all day my back is killing me. I can run for miles, but sit me down for a few hours and my back goes out. I’m thinking I need a rest day on Monday.

The official training schedule and my schedule is as follows:


Rest Day: Cross training or core work.

Rest Day. No weights, no resistance bands, no planks. Just rest.


Intervals:2 mile warm up, 15 x 400 meters at 10k pace w/ 200m jog between intervals, 1 mile cool down.

FYI…400 meters is 1/4 of a mile, or 1 lap around a track.

4 mile run with 4 x 20 second intervals afterwards.


Rest Day or Easy Run: 3 miles

Rest Day. Cross-train: weights, resistance bands and 1.5 min plank.


Easy Run: 6 miles + 4 x 20-sec strides after run.

As above.


Alternating Tempo Run: 2-mile warmup, 3 x (1 mile at marathon pace 1 mile at 10k pace) 1 mile cool down.

4 miles: 1 miles easy, 2 miles @ 9.5-10 m/m pace, 1 mile easy.


Rest Day: Cross-training or core work.

Rest Day: Daughter’s dance competition (I’m going to try to sit less, we’ll see.)


Long Run: 10 miles

Trail run: I’m going to either run on my own or sign up last minute for Hollywood Sign 12k.


I hope everyone’s training is going well and injury free. Remember what I said about resting. If you need an extra rest day then take it. Listen to your body. It doesn’t do you any good to over train and end up with an injury.

  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night.

  • Take a short afternoon nap.

  • Rest on your rest days!

dory on rest day
Don’t be Dory!

Do you rest when you should?

Thanks for reading!

Keep Running!





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