Cutback Weeks: Why You Need Them & What They Are


We often focus on the workouts & the stress of training. Athletes often want to do more and work harder, but did you know it’s a two sided equation? Stress + Rest = Growth! We need to have the rest portion in order to become better over the long run. When we have a training plan that focuses too much on the stress and not enough on the rest, we often see injury, burnout, and stagnation. This may not come right away, so it is often confusing for runners. Today we will be chatting about how to add more rest to your training

How often do you take rest days now vs when at your peak fitness?

Do you think running every day is good?

How do you know when it becomes too much How long do you think an athlete can go before seeing their running have very negative impacts from not resting enough?

What is a ‘cut back week’ & why is it important?

Do you think most people do cut back weeks? Why not?

What if you feel good? Do you still have to do a cut back week?

Is it important to rest before you feel like you have to?

How does human physiology work when it comes to recovery?

What is the benefit of a rest day over running easy

Should you cross training or strength train on your rest days?

When should you take your weekly rest days?

What if you are scared to take a rest day or are on a run streak?

How long will it take to lose your fitness?


👇First of all, let’s DEFINE a cutback week and a rest day:👇

💥Cutback week: A 20-30% reduction in mileage every 3-6 weeks

💥Rest day: A full day off of running and any cross training activities. You can still be active! Going for a walk, taking a low intensity yoga class, stretching, and foam rolling are all activities that you can participate in on a rest day

🤕Overuse injury prevention: Many running-related injuries are due to overuse, otherwise known as under-recovery. Rest days and cutback weeks allows your bones, connective tissue, muscles, and nerves to repair from the running stress •
🧠Mental burnout prevention: Running is a GRIND! It can become so much of a routine that we don’t want to get out there anymore. We can prevent that with rest days/cutback weeks by creating a mental desire to get back out there. It’s just like the old saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”

🤒Physical burnout prevention: During training, microtears happen in your muscles which creates an inflammatory response. This inflammation requires your immune system to repair the damage done. Doing too much without recovery takes a big toll on your immune system! Overworking your body can lead to stagnation and even decreases in performance

🔋Restore glycogen storage: Running for longer than 90 minutes dips into our glycogen stores. Doing multiple 90+ minute runs week after week will continue to dip into those glycogen stores. When these run out, your body uses your muscle as fuel which we do NOT want. A cutback week/rest day allows your body to more easily refill those glycogen stores for the next time you run over 90 minutes

😴Promote more restful sleep: When in a build period, your body is actually going through a period of ‘stress’. As a reaction to this stress, the body produces adrenaline and cortisol. These stress hormones can lead to interrupted sleep cycles. Decreasing the stress load gives our bodies a chance to destress and relax. This leads to more restful sleep!

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