Ah, rest. So nice but so frustrating at the same time, no? I have a love/hate relationship with rest days. I know my body needs them, but it seems the sunniest, prettiest days where I am ready to workout ALWAYS fall on rest days. Kind of like how I ALWAYS crave Chic Fil A on Sundays. Anyone else? no? Also, by about 2:00 pm on a rest day I am feeling SO sluggish and in need of a nap.
Did you know that running too much can make you SLOWER? Check out THIS article from Runner’s World. Apparently some determined dude wanted to run Boston and needed to shave 19 minutes off his time so he started training more and more and skipping rest days and he got slower and slower. BUMMER.
One of my favorite lines in this article says “Don’t wait for aches or pains to take a recovery day, that’s a sign of overtraining.” Folks, there is a reason that training days are built into a training schedule, and no it’s not to add variety to the calendar on your refrigerator. Your body NEEDS rest days to recover and make you stronger. (No, Kanye, the things that don’t kill you will NOT necessarily make you stronger.)
On rest days when I am itching to work out, I try and look at my rest day AS a workout. Just like I have a schedule for running, I need a schedule for resting, because it as just as important in my training plan. So when I am sitting on the couch with my feet up, having my husband feed me grapes and wave palm leaves over me, I try to think about allowing my body time to get stronger and more healthy, and I don’t want to mess with that!
I personally don’t do well running more than two days in a row. I can tell that my body is sluggish and not performing well, and I need a rest day or a cross training day to work totally different muscles. Every now and then I can do 3 days in a row if they aren’t all difficult runs, but after that I am spent!
The article also talks about refueling quickly after a run to aid in recovery, and that massages (yyeeessss!) and foam rolling will also help, for the financially challenged folks. (raises hand)
sometimes I like to pretend that I am getting a professional massage and not just foam rolling…
The end of the article has a nice post race recovery guide starting with the second you cross the finish line you should really check out!
So next time you are “resting” but going bezerk inside, think about how what you are doing is actually making you a better runner, so don’t miss out on reaping the benefits! Take a day off, you will thank me later. Ok, now I really need an 8 pack of nuggets and some waffle fries….
QOTD: Do you take rest days? Do you find they help you?