Our expert says:
No problem, I'm here to answer questions - I do apologize that it's taken so long to get to yours though! Travel and work have kept me rather busy (and tired). Anyway, better late than never!
The answer depends on your level of fitness, where you are in the programme and how hard you've done the run. If you race a half-marathon, then 10 days to 2 weeks is a normal time to take it easy before resuming normal training. However, if you went out and did a half marathon say 10 to 15 minutes (or more) slower than normal, then your recover time can be 2 or 3 days. If it's even easier than this (say for example, you're a 90 min half marathon runner and you go out and run 20km in 1:40), then you're probably OK to train normally again by the Tuesday.
A lot depends also on where in the programme you are. You'll know for example that sometimes you're building up and the long run you do is say 10 to 15% longer than anything you've done before. That means it's a bigger stress on your system than if you'd done long runs every weekend for say 2 months, giving your body a chance to adapt. It sounds to me that you're quite used to running 16 to 20km, and so a 20 km run, as long as it's done slowly enough, would not be too great a stress that you need the whole week off. A rest day after, and then easy training one day, and then back to normal would probably be OK.
But as always, the fine print is that you must listen to your body, because if it's too much, your body will tell you!
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