Beginner Triathlon

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How many rest days does the body need?

posted over 7 years ago | Report

Hi! I'm training for my first tri (May 22, 2011), and I've just added swim training to the rest. I'm swimming every other day, as well as biking. On the other days I bike or run with the OCCASIONAL day off (one day a week or every two weeks). My question after a very sluggish workout day is - how many rest days SHOULD I be giving myself? Do I need a definite one per week? Or more? Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

  • I would think it depends on your body and your workouts. I personally run every other day to let any stress factures heal and cross training in between. But then again, I've never trained for a tri.

    posted over 7 years ago | edited over 7 years ago

  • I also have never trained for a tri, but my marathon plan has me taking 2 rest days a week. One major thing, however, is that every 4th week is an easy week, where I reduce my weekly mileage by about a third to let my body repair from the accumulated mileage over the last 3 weeks. May be worth thinking about.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • as many as your body needs. you should also have easy weeks in there especially after hard training weeks. training is breaking your body down and rebuilding it back stronger without proper rest you're body can't rebuild itself and constant breaking it down leads to injuries.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • I just start the super simple half ironman training a week ago that I found in the Triathlete Magazine and they have me resting on Mondays i had to do some tweaking do scheduling conflicts. In general I rest on Monday, Run and Swim on Tues, Weds ride, Thurs Run and Swim, Friday Ride, Sat Long swim and run, then on Sunday long ride with occasional transition run.

    I will be participating in my 1st half on March 20th.

    Good luck with your training.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • This partially depends on how long you plan to keep up training for (just one tri or the next 20 years, etc), your genetics, age, condition and other such factors. Yes, you should take at least one definite day off per week. When you train, you break down your muscles and they do need time to heal. It also may be wise to take a couple weeks or even a month off or more to recover after the tri. Two rest days per week seems to be popular (best if they were spread out and not back to back). working out every other day also seems to be popular. maybe you can get away with one day, but if you do too much you could hurt yourself.

    Hope that helps,


    posted over 7 years ago | edited over 7 years ago

  • this is a pretty broad question and something that's both very personal to your body, as well as dependent on your particular training program. To start, you should probably be following a training program. One that fits with your current fitness levels and goals and seems reasonable. it will give you rest days, hard weeks and easy weeks. Then, as you're working the program, there are times when you may feel totally spent and need more... listen to your body.

    Now for the lesson. Tri's are endurance events- even sprint tri's. So, there's very little really hard speed work that you need to be incorporating. It has often been said that for every mile run at (5K) race pace, you need a day to recover. Recovering from a half marathon takes 2 weeks, a marathon takes 4. But, if you run any of these distances at a heart rate of 60-70% max, you could feel fresh as a daisy in a day or two. So, the amount of rest you need is highly dependent upon your workout intensity.

    Good luck on your road ahead. You will learn what works for you- but only by doing it.

    posted over 7 years ago

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