It’s a cloudy day here in MN and usually on days like this I love to curl up and read or snuggle with the #babylove. And that’s what we’ve been doing all day.
Today I’m taking about the importance of taking rest days. On Saturday the #babylove and I went to our last MIT training until race day. I can’t believe the season has gone by so fast. I had a good run, and really focused on my pace. I hovered right around 14:30 per mile. Which is not terrible, but not great either. In the defense of my pace, there was the Girls on The Run Spring 5k going on, and we had to stop frequently to pass some of the girls. On a side note, they did GREAT! It was so fun to see them all out there racing! I really would love to get #bablove into this program in about a decade when she is old enough!
Anyway, I thought it was a good run and I was totally ready to hit the pavement this morning to continue my active streak, as yesterday The Hubs, #babylove and I all went to Valleyfair for the day. I am pretty sure that I walked about 5 miles all around that park. So when I woke up this morning I was really feeling it. Plus I am still not feeling 100% with this chest cold thing I’ve got going on. So I decided that I would rest it today and see if taking it easy today would help.
Taking a rest day isn’t just about being lazy, or sitting around all day. There are 2 kinds of rest days: active rest, meaning doing low-impact activities such as yoga, walking, biking or swimming – all at an easy to moderate pace; and non-active rest days, those days where you don’t stress your muscles out and give them time to recover.
Taking rest days helps your body recover from all of the stress it takes in your training program. Depending on what you are training for, your rest days might be on a set schedule, like every Sunday is a rest day after your long run; or every Thursday is a rest day after your speed training on Wednesdays. But if you don’t have a set training schedule going, listen to your body and take it easy to avoid injury.
Taking time to rest can also help you reassess your training plan. These rest days make you slow down and listen to your body, and be able to take an inventory of how your body is responding to your training. If you are too sore, make sure you are not increasing your mileage too fast, and be sure to stretch. If you are not feeling like you are pushing yourself enough, perhaps adding some more intense cross training, or changing up the routes your run can help challenge your body more.
The other big reason is to help avoid mental burnout. Doing the same routine day in and day out can lead to some serious burn out and boredom with your training plan. Take a day to rest your brain can help keep you fresh for your next long (or short) run.
So I am going to enjoy this rest day, and go take a nap with my #babylove!