The Importance of Scale Back Weeks

by - Thursday, August 12, 2010

We're having a bit of a storm here this morning.

Note my back porch flooding. That's got to be an inch of water.


Trees were bending in half, there was so much water running down the side of my house I couldn't see out my windows. Then there was hail.

I was just waiting for the funnel cloud. (And trying to figure out where to take shelter in a house without a basement. Answer: My food pantry.)

Normally thunderstorms don't bother me, but this one had me seriously freaked out...and very glad I wasn't running this morning.

Caitlin wrote a post the other day about the importance of scale back weeks during a training plan.

Last week was supposed to be my week to cut back. I was only supposed to run twice during the week and then have my long run on the weekend.

Instead, I ended up running my normal three times during the week plus my long run. I didn't want to skip the BlogHer 5K in the name of my training plan.

BlogHer 5K

This morning, feeling completely drained mentally and physically, I made the execute decision to make this my scale back week. I could feel the effects of overtraining start to set in and knew I needed that scale back week. So at 5:00 a.m. I shut off my alarm and went back to sleep.

I woke up feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Scale back weeks are built into a training plan for a reason:
  • They protect against mental fatigue and training burnout
  • They protect against physical fatigue and injury.
  • They give your body a chance to adapt to all the training.
Do you build scale back weeks into your training plan? If so, do you honor them?

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