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It happens to all of us at one time or another. We push the envelope of training volume, intensity, the combination of the two, or we simply try to jam entirely too much into life. Even if you follow a training plan to manage athletic training and recovery, sometimes you need to break the plan and take a rest day or even a rest week. Most often the culprit is trying to over-pack your waking hours with activity (workouts, overtime at work, family, friends, volunteer time, etc…) which can take its toll.


When you have dug the hole too deep, then you end up ill or injured. If you pay close attention, there are a good number of warning signs that tell you danger is pending and if you heed, perhaps illness, injury and a major break in training can be avoided.


In no particular order, here are some signs you might need a rest week…

  • Friends and family comment that you are grumpy.
  • You feel crabby.
  • You feel tired, but try to keep rolling with caffeine.
  • Once in bed you have trouble sleeping and your mind won’t shut off.
  • You have trouble concentrating.
  • Body parts begin to get aches and pains for no reason.
  • Your heart rate runs much higher or much lower than normal for a given pace.
  • Wounds are slower to heal. (Cuts, scrapes, Scratches, acne, etc.)
  • A cold sore hatches.
  • You get dull headaches or have a dry-eye feeling though you are well hydrated.
  • Normally excited to workout, you don’t feel up to getting out the door.
  • You’re abnormally clumsy.


When the warning signs appear, take it easy, take the day off or cut all training back for a week. With some rest, you’ll soon be back to your old self.


Do you have any warning signs not on the list? Share them below.

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