After yesterday’s unanticipated 7-mile run I decided to make today a rest day. My training schedule calls for 3 miles, but I couldn’t think of a good reason not to put that run off until Friday and let my legs recover from my hill training and longer mileage, and let my entire body recover from the fact that I slept terribly last night!
It feels so good to take a rest day, and it feels good to need one as well! Usually I don’t consider the days I don’t run “rest days” because they’re really just days when I’ve skipped a run for whatever reason, and not days when I’m taking care of myself and letting my body recover. I do have those when I need them, but they are few and far between when my running is less consistent!
When I was reading Hal Higon‘s Marathon, I thought it was kind of funny how much he stressed the importance of rest days. He is very adamant about the importance of taking them, and mentions how essential they are to balanced training several times throughout the book. Although I thought he was going a bit far at first (I mean, how many times do you really have to say it, Hal?), I realized after a while that it is kind of easy to reach a point in training where you start thinking, ‘Hmm, I could fit in more miles if I skipped this rest day’ or ‘I could get a streak started if I didn’t take off this Friday’, or whatever. There is something very tempting about running every day, although I don’t think my body would really be all that game–I would definitely crash if I tried it.
The truth of the matter is that rest days are a really important part of training, just like Hal Higon says. I mean, the guy does know what he’s talking about, after all. Taking the rest you need can help you steer clear of overtraining and injuries, and make it possible for you to get more out of your other workouts because you’re more energized and rested for them.
Right now, my schedule calls for two rest days a week. The problem is that it gets kind of tricky at a certain point–I have all my running planned out, but as I’m increasing my mileage, how do I keep making time for yoga? I want to continue to run 5 days a week, but I also want to try to get in a couple days of strength training as well. The yoga I can see working into a day when I’m running, but I think strength training and running on the same day would be a bit difficult for me. Is it okay to strength train or do yoga on a rest day? Does a rest day just mean you don’t run, or should you really not do any activity at all? I’ve used the same training plan for all three marathons I’ve run. It has you run five days a week, has one day of pure rest, and one day of rest OR cross-training. But! I’ve never cross-trained, so I have no experience to work from!
I may be making false attributions here, but I’m convinced that one of the reasons why I’m so bad about strength training consistently (I mean, other than the fact that I just don’t like it all that much) is because I’m never sure when exactly to do it. My yoga always gets less consistent when I run more, too.
Has anyone figured how to work this delicate balance? If so, I would love some advice!
Embrace:Me 30-day challenge day 13: Dudes, I am going to bed! I know it’s only 9:13, but the goal is to be kind to oneself, right? And bed is the only place I want to be right now, so I can’t imagine how I could possibly get any nicer. Sure, the laundry needs folding, I could do some tidying up, maybe even a short yoga practice. But then I would be violating the terms of the Challenge, and we can’t have that happening. Goodnight!