Monday, May 18, 2015

The Latent Benefits of The Rest Day

I am a few weeks into my new summer training plan and so far am really enjoying it: sustainable mileage in the middle numbers range, tempo-type running for strength, and some harder Alter-G session in there for good measure at Sterling Ridge Orthopedics. This plan also has me taking one rest day per week, usually on Sunday. I am finding that I enjoy the short physical and mental break from training. I thought I'd change it up today and cover something that seems less talked-about but still benefits us runners in multiple ways.

The physiological benefits are obvious: extra time for the muscles to repair themselves without disturbance and the energy systems to be recharged for upcoming sessions. I also use the extra time for some recovery work: foam rolling and stretching, etc....

Mentally, resting used to be a huge challenge for me; sneaking in a few miles was not uncommon, or going to the gym and lifting, etc. was kept off the radar. Maybe it's just me getting old and tired, but having a day sans training seems to help me give myself more permission to really focus on other aspects that may be neglected on days I train, and especially during the work week (as silly as that may sound!).

So what are some of these less talked about benefits of the almighty rest day? Here's my list:

  • Things are actually clean, not just the dusted-over illusion that I have it somewhat together! Ok that is only somewhat true ;) 
  • Food seems to magically appear restocked in the fridge or prepared for the next few days..or both.
  • My dog is happier: which means she is less likely to get into trouble out of boredom or by eating strange things. Think I'm joking? Dauchsunds are great dogs overall, but don't let them get bored! 
  • The likelihood of attending church goes up substantially. 
  • Increased desire to train come the following day.
  • Perhaps the biggest one is this: enjoying the confident feeling that comes from doing what's best FOR ME, and tuning out what anyone else is doing. 
Boom. There we have it! How about you? Anything you really like about rest day? 

1 comment:

misszippy said...

I agree wholeheartedly! I absolutely love my rest day on so many levels. Monday is mine and it is my day to crank out work, do laundry, plan the grocery shopping, etc. I always feel refreshed mentally and physically and do NOT skip it!