Minute 1: How much rest should you take on race week?

If a device is giving us trouble, we deploy a sophisticated IT strategy of turning it off and turning it back on. Humans and computers may not be so different, since “unplugging” yourself to rest up before a race can boost your chances of success. But only if you don’t chill too much, according to this new story: “How many rest days should you take the week of your marathon?” Renowned coach Hal Higdon is one of many experts who recommends lowering your training volume by a significant amount before a race. Two weeks out, marathoners can lower their mileage by 25% to 30% and take about two rest days. In the final week, you can reduce volume by an additional 10% to 20%, aiming for as many as 4 rest days.

Those figures are based on marathon runners’ needs, but shorter distances will likely require less rest. Regardless of the distance runners should consider doing a shakeout run, according to: “Should You Run The Day Before A Race?” Shakeout runs are short, easy runs before an event designed to keep your blood circulating and your muscle tension appropriately high. The goal is muscle activation, not damage, according to “What Matters (and What Doesn’t) Days Before a Race.” Basically, you shouldn’t expect to improve your fitness very much in the final week before a race, but keeping your muscles active before a competition can help maintain a certain amount of tension. That’s important for avoiding the feeling of sluggishness that often comes during a training break, and to learn more about how to manage muscle tension, check out: “The key to running fast on race day: Muscle Tension.”

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Source:
Six Minute Mile Newsletter