To prevent injury. You feel great. And, you have been increasing mileage regularly. In doing so you put a lot of stress on your body and mind. Though you have been mixing easy and harder runs, your body needs time to become stronger. Breaking muscle fibers during your runs is part of the process of being stronger. During recovery, these fibers heal stronger than they were before, which in turn, make your muscles stronger.
To Stay focus and prevent runner’s burnout. After a while of doing the same activity, it’s normal to become demotivated and fatigued. Taking a break has the same benefit as taking a vacation. It relaxes your mind helps you relax and reassess your goals. One week of low intensity will help you tackle the next 4-week block with more energy and focus.
It is part of the process. Every runner will feel like plateauing and that’s ok. It is actually part of the process. You will notice fast progress at the beginning and then feeling you are not progressing. That’s when you need to take a break. Your body needs to recover. The recovery time is used to become stronger.
What should you do during that break? Depending on your goals and where you are at, easy cross-training is a great option, an easy jog is also a good option or walking/hiking. Cut down the mileage by at least 25%.
Enjoy your break.