Every now and then I take a break from training. Just lately my run schedule has been like this :
Monday - tempo run in Hyde Park at lunchtime with Biscuit Boy (3.5 miles in 32-37 mins depending on heat and how we're feeling after Sunday's run.)
Tuesday - Oaks Park run - 4 miles cross country on a footpath through woods, some roads.
Wednesday- see Above
Thursday Still in Oaks Park, but 'super-sprints' day. Find a hill, sprint up it, jog down it. Repeat until pretty much exhausted. I usually get some time for some stretches and lunges after this session, which is a nice change.
Friday - rest
Saturday - rest
Sunday - slow, long run. I like to run for at least 2 hours, some off road and some on road.
After running like this for a couple of weeks, averaging about 20 miles a week, I will feel a level of fatigue begin to build up. It's not just the training, it's the 2 hour daily commute, it's working, it's being a mom to an active child and everything else we cram into the day. In addition to the fatigue, all of the exercise magazine and training guides do say it is important to take a rest week now and then to refresh yourself. I usually time mine to coincide with Cupcake's half term. I would normally run between 2 and 3pm whilst Cupcake is at school, but this week I can collect her at 2pm and we can go and do something fun together like swimming or the cinema.
The rest week refreshes my tired muscles and body, to me it feels like a treat because my body does not feel so tired, it's a recuperation.. Having said all that, by the end of my rest week I am itching to get my trainers back on, which means I then approach my running with a renewed enthusiasm.