This isn't a "how to" article, or one that goes much in depth about sleep cycles or how muscle restoration actually works, more so a reminder from you friendly redhead runner.
Take a day off from training, once a week, and do something you love.
As a runner we have multiple facets of training; Tempo, long runs, weight training, nutrition, fartleks, track, intervals etc etc but what we fail to remember is rest days are essential to great training.
With my BQ marathon on the horizon I've been a little anxious. I'm going through a sickness that's really interrupted my somewhat crazy life. With 2.5 part time jobs, Marathon/Ironman Training, and school I think my body was saying "you need a break".
As athletes, I think we are all guilty of listening to that little voice in our head:
"You should be running"
"You should be stretching"
"What?! you're eating that!?"
It seems to always be there.
We disregard the fact that recovery is essential to our training, in fact it is PART of our training.
When we run/workout we are creating microscopic tears to our muscles.
When we rest they repair themselves stronger and more efficient given the right amount of fuel and rest.
My husband and I had 2 days off, for the first time in 2 months that didn't involve a race. When these days occur we usually take advantage of them with longer runs or long bike training rides. However I think we were both ready for a few rest days.
We made the 5 hour drive and camped in Yosemite National Park. We hiked up the Mist Trail and enjoyed the waterfalls. I read in my hammock (a non running/athletic book), and he took a million pictures with his new camera. We enjoyed 2 very long hikes, always amazing ourselves with sights and sounds you can discover by the use of your 2 feet. It put a spark back in our heart for backpacking and made plans for a future trip.
Our trip ended like Cinderella's, arriving home at Midnight. It was a super late night and of course an early morning back to work for both of us. However, thankful we got out of our bubble, our routine, and took a few recovery days to invest some time off the road and on the trail.
Thanks for reading!
I'm passionate about running, fitness, nutrition and all things that make me and everyone else a better version of ourselves.