Recovery and Rest Day!. . .MAN, REALLY?
The older I get the less I can ignore them. . .rest and recovery days. I try and push through but my body will not allow it. I think the one thing that I hate the most is having an AWESOME "Super Woman" kind of day and then feel like a complete limp noodle the next.
Monday's, I drive my family crazy. I teach BodyPump and CX in the early morning, head to work soon after, later get a run in and then conduct boot camp all before 8PM at night. Why do I drive my family crazy? In my house, we are competitive so I start on my poor husband asking him if he worked out because I worked out 3 times and he needs to catch up. The kids have to hear that I am over 30 years their senior and did SO MUCH MORE than they did in one day and remind those little rascals that they are too young to be tired! TOO YOUNG, I SAY! LOL! No, I am not a drill sergent. . .just CrAzY, I want to brag, hype the family up into a tizzy and then I am done! LOL! LOVE!
Then there is Tuesday, oh. . .I sometimes HATE Tuesday because that's when it hits and MAN it hits HARD!!! All the energy I had on Monday is sucked out and there she is. . .Ms. Limp Noodle! So UNCOOL but I know I have to listen to my body. Having said that, I will admit at times. . .falling victim to a rest&recovery day sometimes feels really good. I am no fool! I grab my terrible light green rob, drink my hot tea and sometimes a lil' someth'n, someth'n and EAT like nobody's business!!! I chill REALLY hard and then Wednesday, I am ready to rock and roll all over again, baby!
Ok, I am done but here are real reasons why a rest and recovery day is good for everyone! First, I want to make it clear that a rest&recovery day doesn't mean you have to do absolutely nothing. It's better to keep moving even if it's just walking or getting a few static stretches while watching tv or hanging out with the family.
- Muscle recovery: When you strength train and run, you tear small muscle fibers throughout your body. You have to give your body time to rebuild good muscle so that you can perform better during your next workout.
- Prevent injury: I know a lot of good runners who do not do enough stretching before or after their run. So, resting after a tough workout can be crucial. Again, walk for 20-30 minutes, cross-train with yoga or pilates and/or go for a nice easy swim to keep your body moving. This also counts as a "rest or recovery day".
- Mental recovery: Sometimes when we are on a serious training regime, we go and go and go so that we can be awesome on race day! That's good. . .that's focus but (there's always a "but") a rest/recovery day can prevent you from overtraining. No matter how intense your training is, give yourself a day so that you don't do too much to your body and you do not get injured (pulled muscle or a torn tendon).
- Family and Friends: If you are committed runner, that is fantastic but I am sure your family and friends would like to see you from time to time. Sometimes, non-runners don't understand all the hours and dedication put into running/training. We get it but sometimes those who are closest to us do not and they want our time and love. So, take the time to spend with family and close friends. Share some "not so boring" running stories with them and see what's up in their lives. Having that connection builds the support you need to accomplish your goals.
So grab your scary robe, your fat, smelly slippers and CHILL! The road will be there tomorrow. . .with or without you. . .I promise! Happy Running!