A cutback week is a week during training where you take it easy and give both your mind and body a break from the rigors of training. While it might be hard to accept an easy week when you’re feeling like you need to increase your fitness level, I promise you that an easy week will pay off in the long run (pun intended).
All solid distance training programs should include a cutback week.
During a cutback all runs should be ran at an easy pace and the distance of the long run is usually cut in half.
- Physical break from all the hard work.
- A mental break from following an intense schedule.
- Recovery periods are just as important as periods with a heavy workload are.
- Prevents injury.
- Prevents burnout.
- Keeps you motivated to reach your goals.
- Gives you longevity in the sport.
- Built-in cutback weeks can add flexibility to your training schedule. For example if you miss a week due to illness or an insane work week, you can use those weeks as a cutback week and adjust your training plan accordingly.
- Respect the easy workouts. Easy means easy and rest means rest.
- Spend your extra time hanging out with friends, resting or working on a non-running related goal.
- Enjoy it! Your mind and body need a break even if you don’t feel like they do. Embrace the easy week and take time to relax.
- Schedule a sports massage.
- Get lots of rest!
- Do extra workouts that are not listed on your schedule.
- Skip the workouts listed on your schedule.
- Agonize about doing easy workouts. Your patience will pay off. Easy weeks help prevent burnout and injury.
- Compare your training schedule to anyone else’s.
- Let doubt creep in. Trust the process and your training plan.
Final words on cutback weeks: