Need time off? Maybe you need to take a break from running.
Maybe your race season is over. Maybe you're injured or bored. Or maybe you've been training hard for months, and you're ready for a change?
Usually, breaks are somewhat long - at least several weeks, even months. Perhaps a running break can be better defined as a hiatus or sabbatical.
Or… a vacation!
Yes, let’s call it a vacation instead of a running break. Consider it a chance to:
So you can return happier, refreshed and ready for the rewarding, challenging, wonderful work of running.
No matter how the running break came to be, it’s important to make the most of it in ways that are feasible to you.
Here are eight things you can do during your running break or vacation from running to stay productive, fit, happy and involved in the running community.
Sometimes a running break is caused by serious injuries that limit cross training activities or completely eliminate them altogether.
But if your situation allows, it's important to find an aerobic activity to keep the heart healthy and blood pumping similar to the way running does.
Great aerobic activities can include:
One of my personal-favorite cross-training activities: Whitewater kayaking.
I’m not sure it’s super aerobic. At least my Garmin fenix 6s tells me my heart rate never touches what it does while running, even if I’m sweating while attaining (paddling upstream) or surfing waves.
Nonetheless, individuals can find what works for them, from cardio gym machines to outdoor activities.
👉The key to a productive running break: Do something enjoyable that gets the happy, feel-good endorphins flowing.
Taking a running break gives you a good opportunity to experience your body in new ways.
Add strength training in the form of weight-based training with:
Or try body-weight strength training with:
Strength training can reveal weaknesses and ultimately balance your body’s musculature.
Plus, weight training is a great way to increase bone density and body awareness at the same time, key components to being a healthy runner.
Some of my favorite strength training resources that I use at home with dumbbells, bands, ankle weights, swiss ball and kettlebell include:
This is an extension of number two.
Yoga can act as your go-to body-weight strengthening practice... and so much more.
The ancient mind-body-soul system also improves:
More than anything, yoga incorporates breathing in a way that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, putting the body in a state of relaxation.
Pairing deep breathing with movement minimizes stress on the mat and ultimately off the mat, in all aspects of life.
Yoga can be as athletic as the practitioner desires, with:
But it can also be useful for decompressing with:
Yoga combines all the essentials runners need in one sweet practice.
Yoga is accessible to every single person or condition.
Running is a community, and when we are not running, we miss that community.
One way to stay in touch: Volunteer.
Opportunities abound, from joining trail maintenance teams for the long term to trail clean-up days to volunteering at races.
Find your niche, and give back to the running community that gives so much to you.
Indulge yourself in some good running literature.
Here are the books I’ve read this year and recommend:
And my favorite running stories:
Weeviews writer and Ambassador Evan Jensen gave us a quality list in Need a Boost of Motivation? Top 10 Movies About Running.
Running and racing typically go hand in hand.
Most of us love to toe the line with our friends, family or even complete strangers in new lands. It’s the spirit of the community that brings us to the start line, and we can miss that when we’re not running.
Rather than wallow in self pity that you’ve missed your favorite race, get out there with your pom-poms or cowbell and give your fellow runners some love!
Chances are pretty good you already know a good massage therapist.
If you don't, ask your running friends for recommendations. Then book an appointment for a 30-60 minute massage.
It's a proven way to:
Well, I hope this list inspired you to fill your time off during a running break with fun, meaning and purpose. FYI...there are many other ways to take a break from running to recover and recharge.
Time for a running break? Tell us how you take a running vacation in the comments.