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Inline secrets from the world's top skaters and coaches

This week's tip:

Rest Days
How to fit rest days into your training schedule

By Derek and David Downing
Aug. 8, 2008

All work and no play makes Jack a slow boy. It's a fact: you can train too much. Here are some tips on how to get the rest you need:

What is a rest day?

A rest day is a day when you don't do a hard workout. It's a day set aside for light workouts or light physical activity, just enough to keep the blood flowing.

What should I do on a rest day?

Do something you enjoy. It's a good day for a light workout in the gym or an easy skate. It's also a good day to take a nap.

Can I just do nothing?

No. Don't turn into a couch potato or spend the day watching TV or playing video games. That could leave you feeling more drained than a hard workout.

Do something physical. Just make sure that whatever you do is fun. Your mind needs time to recover just as much as your body. So do something relaxing: walk the dog, go hiking with friends, go fishing — whatever it is that relaxes you, do it.

When should I schedule a rest day?

Plan your training regimen to match your race schedule. If you normally race on Saturdays or are preparing for a Saturday race, train on Saturdays, don't rest. If you do, your body will be ready to rest, not race, when you get to the starting line. A strategy that often works is to make your rest days coincide with your travel days.

How often should I take a rest day?

That depends on your race schedule. If you have more than a week between races, schedule a rest day every 7-10 days.

If you have a heavy racing schedule, like the racers in the World Inline Cup, you'll have to train constantly to stay in peak condition. As a result, your only rest day will be your travel day. 

Whatever you do, never take three or four days off before a race or meet. Too much rest also makes Jack a slow boy.


Derek and David Downing are two of the top figures in U.S. inline Derek Downingspeed David Downingskating. David has served multiple stints as a coach for the U.S. national speed skating team and in 2004 was inducted into the USA Roller Sports Coaches Hall of Fame. Derek (David's son) was one of the world's top inline speed skaters in the late-1990s, winning 10 gold medals at the World Championships between 1995 and 2000. This tip is condensed from an article David and Derek wrote for the GT Speed Training Manual.

GT Speed web page


Related reading:

Skate Tip of the Week Archive
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating




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