Talking with people about the workout I do always prompts interesting questions. "Are you training for a marathon?" always tops the list, and the rest tend to be from people looking to lose weight or tone up and asking about specifics of what I've done.
No one, yet, has asked why I take a week off after every six. Honestly, it originated with my first workout video who stressed having down time. At that time I didn't understand why, but I really looked forward to that first week off. It was a hard six weeks starting the boot camp videos. No surprise considering that I could do maybe 10 push-ups, no pull-ups and forget the run.
It's been almost two years now exercising and watching what I eat. 50 push-ups is the norm, I'm still working on the pull-ups (closing in on 30) and the run peaks at 6 miles. Even after all this, I still take a week off.
Why? To eat what I want? Run when I feel like it? A little, I wont deny it. I certainly enjoyed the box of Hostess Cupcakes this week, but mostly it lets me refocus on why I'm doing this and what my goals are. What do I want to do with the next 6 weeks? Add more miles? Focus more on the regular workout? Lose weight? Who knows, but by the end of the week I have figured it out and I'm ready to keep going.
I don't believe in going full tilt 100% of the time, you'll burn yourself out. Whether that's work, exercise, or chasing your kids around the block - you need time to decompress and refocus. I did one run this week, six miles, and it felt great and I was very motivated. Compared to last week where I was pushing for every mile because I was mentally "done".