So not only have I recently taken a little break from blogging since we moved to the Philly area. But during this little “break” time I’ve also taken a mini break from running. By a “mini” break I mean, I didn’t stop running completely, but just that I’ve been running way less than I had over the past few months.
For example, in the months before we moved I was training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, and I actually ran that race the very day before we moved. Only a thing a truly ~crazy runner~ would do, right?
But for the past 3 months I’ve been running 1 or 2 (maybe 3) times per week, max. That’s a pretty big change for someone who had been running 3 to 5 days per week consistently for the greater part of a year.
If feels kind of weird to be running way less than what I’m used to, but it also feels nice! I’ve been spending more time in the gym working on strength training (I’ve been doing Kayla Itsines 12-week BBG program and I’m loving it) and I’ve just been enjoying running whenever I really feel like it and enjoying the miles without stressing over a training plan or worrying about my weekly mileage or hitting certain paces.
So with that said, here are a few things that tend to happen when a runner decides to take a break from their beloved sport.
1. Aches and Pains Start to Fade
When you go from running most days of the week, to just 1 or 2, all of those random aches and pains you used to have start to disappear. I know, this is a a pretty obvious result of cutting back your mileage, but when you go from needing to foam roll every night before bed to simply needing a good stretch or a short yoga session every few days, you’re just like…
In other words, as much as I love training and as much as those constantly sore, tired muscles make you feel like a warrior athlete. It’s nice to give your legs and lower body joints a real break with some serious recovery time. Just sayin’.
2. You Have More Time To Catch Up on Your Favorite TV Shows
Less running, and specifically, less training for long-distance racing, means more free time. For me right now, aside from wedding planning, that means more time to indulge in some Netflix.
Lately I’ve enjoyed Riverdale, Friends From College, Ozark, Gossip Girl (rewatching for the second time!), Grace and Frankie, Girlboss, Masters of None, Shameless, and my current all-time favorite, Life In Pieces.
Oh and an added bonus: Since I don’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn for a speed or distance workout on Monday mornings, I can stay up late enough to watch Game of Thrones with Mark on Sunday nights!
3. Your Wallet Might Get a Little Bit Fatter
Everyone knows that race fees are $$$$, so when you take a break from running, if you also take a break from signing up for races for a bit, you’ll notice a little extra moola in your bank account.
Plus, since you’re not consistently logging lots of miles on your sneakers, you won’t need a new pair as often as usual —another consistent expense that runners know it’s important to fork over cash for every few months or so.
4. You’ll Make Friends With Other Equipment in The Gym Besides the Treadmill
When you’re training for a long-distance race trips to the gym usually mean it’s raining or too cold outside so you were forced to get your workout done on the treadmill. But when you’re taking a break from running going to the gym means you can explore other types of workouts.
As I mentioned before, I’m currently following the BBG program which is mainly bodyweight moves plus a few dumbbell and medicine ball moves. But other than that I’ve been enjoying the low-impact benefits of the elliptical (which is also a great time to catch-up on more Netflix BTW!) and I’ve also really been loving spending lots of time on the rower, which is my favorite semi-new way to mix it up on cardio days.
5. You Don’t Have to Plan Your Entire Weekly Schedule Around Long Runs
Anyone who’s ever trained for a half or full marathon knows that the weekend long run (once you get put to double-digit miles) doesn’t take up just a few hours.
You have to make sure you’ll be having a low-key, early night the night before because trying to complete a long run on too-little sleep or while hungover is an absolute nightmare. Then, you have to make sure that the day you’re planning your run for will have nice weather, and if you have plans for afterwards that you’ll have a enough time to shower, get ready, eat (possibly twice) and also sit down and relax for a few minutes if you want to actually stay awake for the rest of the day.
Also, if you can fit a nap into your long run day, even better. That’s at least another hour or two you’d need to factor in.
And of course, it’s most ideal to have a complete rest day for recovery the day after. In other words, the weekend long run basically takes up your whole weekend, so when they’re not a part of your routine, you have all this new free time on the weekends.
The only downside: If you don’t want to say yes to weekend plans, you can’t use your long run as an excuse to get out of them 😛
All that said, I do miss running longer distances, and of course, like any good runner would, I’m totally itching to sign up for my next half marathon. Despite all my newfound free time and the absence of those minor aches and pains, I totally can’t wait to get back into a more serious training routine.
Have you ever taken a break from running? If so, what sort of benefits, good or bad, did you notice?