Taking a Total Rest Day

It feels like forever since I talked training, eh? Well, it's still happening. Last week I ran a little over 26 miles!

I was thinking last week about how I really needed a complete rest day after several days of exhausted feeling runs. I can't put my finger on one reason I felt so wiped during most of my runs, but I'm going to chalk it up to some shorter nights of sleep, a few warmer afternoon runs with H in the stroller and also working on strengthening my right hamstring (leaving it sore).

As the weekend approached, I knew I needed to do my long run on Saturday or Sunday, so I decided the other day would be a total rest day. Midweek if I take a rest day from running, I often do a hike with Henry or something that doesn't really afford for much rest.

So, Saturday morning when it was pouring and grey outside, I welcomed my rest day with open arms and yoga pants. Ahhh... My biggest activity that day was walking around the grocery store for 30 minutes. That's how you do rest days, friends.

And Sunday, my body felt just a bit more ready to tackle 9+ miles with hills thrown in.

In exercise routines and life, there are clear advantages for taking a step back and just relaxing for a day. Most days, Henry and I are running an errand or two and walking or hiking, so an entire day or afternoon at home feels almost luxurious.

But last week amidst a busy calendar and just feeling burnt out, I could tell we needed a life rest day as well. I nixed my plans for the afternoon and soaked up a few extra hours of playtime at home with the little man.

He loves having anything in his mouth, especially this plastic bug.

It was just a good reminder that the things I need or want to do often can wait. Henry is at a really fun age where he's starting to laugh at things out of the blue, plays independently and can even follow instructions if I ask him to bring me something, so it's not like staying at home is a bummer.  Plus, he's working on his walking skills so time spent at home is just extra practice time for him.

I probably sound like a broken record talking about rest days again, but I don't think enough of us really give ourselves appropriate recovery time from whatever it may be - work or workouts or life in general.

Do you have a regular rest or recovery day on your calendar? What do you typically do that day as part of your recovery? 


When I was training, I would typically have 1-2 rest days a week. One would be more of an 'active' rest day so I would go to a yoga class or something like that. I think rest days are definitely important so you give your body time to recover but I also struggle with not feeling guilty about those rest days...

Now pretty much every day is like a rest day for me as even my 'workouts' (biking with no resistance for 20 minutes and using the arm bike before and after biking for as long as I can last) feel like active rest days. But I guess I have to take what I can get while I'm rehabbing.

Henry is so cute! Crazy that he will be one soon (or maybe he turned one already? I can't remember the date of his birthday!). It sounds like he is at such a fun age! All of the ages are great but I love it when you can interact with them a bit more!!
Elizabeth said…
Totally on board with you! :) Truthfully I took 2-3 days from each of these last work weeks and just hung out at home, let myself process/think/pray, watched some Fixer Upper, and just relished existing...or running errands that I rarely have time for but enjoy (the "me" things). It's been incredibly restoring. I tend to work on the weekends then, but seriously, it's just been great :) And I'm finally feeling a bit more grounded and joyful...most days :) So keep on sharing the rest days mentality!! Glad you're taking some as well and love that little man is navigating around even more. BTW TOTALLY loved the hiking pictures from this last week :)
Amber said…
Oh yes, I've taken SO MANY rest days in the last few months haha. I used to work out 6 days a week and 2x a day for 2 or 3 of those days. Now I maybe work out 4 days a week! I'm actually working on taking less rest days right now, but I totally agree FULL rest days are necessary every once in a while.
I generally save Monday and Friday for my rest days since Ultra training normally has back to back long runs on Sat/Sun. This way I can rest before and after. They are total rest days most of the time, but sometimes on Mondays I will schedule a 3 mile walk with a friend. She always laughs that this is my rest day and her hardest day.

I think rest days are critical, as your muscles (and brain) need to rest and relax and rejuvenate so that they can be stronger the next time.

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