Male and female runner lay on the track after a workout. Text on design reads When to Take a Day Off Running. Read more at

6 Signs You Need to Take a Day Off from Running

Take a day off from running if you exhibit one of these 6 signs

If you are a regular runner, you know how you can get stuck in a rut during training. Perhaps you skip your rest day thinking you can get ahead. You may train longer and eat healthier, but you are not getting any faster or stronger. Sounds like you’re overtraining. Rest days are vital and the key to preventing overtraining. By overtraining, your body doesn’t have the opportunity to recover. This results in getting stuck into the black hole called overtraining. Check for these 6 signs to see if you need to take a day off from running. 

6 signs you need a rest day

1. Tired

If you feel exhausted, sore, or fatigued even after getting 7-8 hours of sleep, take a rest for a day or two. This will aid in your body’s recovery process and give your muscles a chance to heal. In addition to a rest day, follow these tips that’ll help you balance life and training better.

2. Not sleeping

You need a rest day if you still feel fatigued after 7-8 hours of sleep.

If you are having trouble sleeping, it is a sign that your nervous system is working overtime. Lack of proper sleep results in poor performance. It could also inhibit the conversion of carbs to glycogen. Avoid scrolling on your phone before bed. Establish and follow a bedtime routine to signify to your body it’s time to sleep.

3. Dehydrated

If you feel super thirsty constantly or the color of your urine is dark yellow, it is a sure sign of dehydration. Exhausted adrenal glands start releasing cortisol, also called the stress hormone, resulting in an increased demand for water. Without proper hydration, the body reaches catabolic state, a condition that can include extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and sleeplessness.

4. Sluggish during run

Every runner experiences a bad workout every now and then. If you feel weak and slow during several workouts, it is a red flag. Your body may not be getting time to recover making you feel fatigued and tired.

5. Mental burnout

Mental exhaustion is a major symptom of overtraining. Though it is normal to feel like not working out every once in a while, if this becomes regular it may indicate a deep physical and mental burnout. Your body is so worn out that your desire to run may not be as high as it normally is. Running can reduce your stress, but it can also increase anxiety if you don’t take a rest day.

You need a rest day if you experience burnout from overtraining.

6. Abnormal heart rate

An elevated or reduced heart rate is also an indication of exercise-related stress. If your body isn’t responding how it normally does then you need to take a day or two off from running. If it persists you need to visit your doctor. Pro tip: become a more efficient runner with this advice on how to breathe properly.

Rest is extremely beneficial

Remember, rest and recovery are great for your body. They provide the opportunity for you to make mental and physical repairs. Take your rest days and make sure you’re sleeping well. Pair that with proper nutrition and hydration and you’ll breeze through your training. Remember, if you experience these red flags your body is telling you to take a day off from running.