For many people, taking days off from running are the hardest. We get into this routine that when we don’t run, we feel guilty about it. However, it’s important to think of the rest days as part of your training. There’s nothing to feel guilty about, because they’re about as necessary as those tempo runs and long runs. Really.
Think about it. Would you not eat between meals and only eat when you were absolutely ready to shrivel because you’re sooo starving? Would you not take a break from running until you reach the point where you’re so burnt out that you no longer want to run at all? Runner burnout is common…been there, done that!
Okay, maybe that’s not the best example. But you get the point. Rest days are necessary.
Personally, I have a hard time taking rest days because I oftentimes just don’t know what to do with myself. I feel as if I want to do something…anything! Sitting still just isn’t an option for me.
What’s a girl to do? Here’s a list of some possibilities:
1. Take a walk! Walking is soft on your joints, allow your muscles to recover from running, and keeps your heart rate lower then running would. It will help you feel as if you’re doing something while still allowing you to wake up refreshed and ready to work out hard the next day!
2. Practice some yoga…or pilates…or weight bearing exercises are great too! Try something new and different!
3. Find a new hobby to keep things interesting! Today I made some homemade granola with the time I would normally use to go running.
4. Update your running blog, or flip through your old one. Reading up on some of your old runs (both goods and bads) will motivate you for the rest of the week’s running…just don’t let it convince you to go out for a long run at that very moment! 😀
EATING ON REST DAYS
Another common problem is that a lot of people underfuel themselves on rest days, thinking they don’t need as much calories since they aren’t burning as much.
However, part of taking a rest day is to refresh your muscles and refuel!!! Don’t restrict your intake now. Undereating will only do more harm then good.
I’m not saying go out and order a Big Mac because you can. What I am saying is that…basically…don’t obsess over it. Eating by your hunger cues is just as important on days when you’re running as on days when you’re not. Fuel up with good-for-you foods that will give you energy for the next day’s workout.
Remember…rest days are important. I had an awesome one, filled with baking, walking, and reading some good books.