Rest Days

One of the biggest mistakes that new endurance athletes make when they begin training is lack of quality rest time.  Adequate rest allows you to recuperate from the taxing training that we as rando racers take on. 

Too much training and not enough rest can actually weaken the strongest athletes, you need rest to replenish energy/glycogen stores and repair damaged tissue.  Without sufficient time to repair and replenish the body will continue to break down from hard exercise leading to a plateau in performance, poor results, burnout or injuries.

There are different ways to rest and recover, I’ll incorporate “active” recovery days where I’ll ski a little or go for a light jog.  I also try to schedule a day a week where I don’t put my feet in boots at all.  Some times I feel guilty, but I’ve taken to calling them my “life maintenance” days.  You can go to the bank, clean the bathtub, take your special lady out for breakfast or write the blog post you’ve been procrastinating about.  These days off are an important mental break where one doesn’t have to think too much about racing and training and just relax.

Whatever type of training program you’ve undertaken, and they are an undertaking, it’s important to remember that intense exercise breaks your muscles down, it’s the rest that builds you back up and makes you stronger.

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3 Responses

  1. Obviously I believe in copious rest days, too.

  2. The Gales know how to rest hard…..

  3. Ahhh…rest days. One thing I like to do now (which I always felt guilty about in the past so never did) is take good naps on rest or light days. My 3 year old still needs a good nap in the afternoon so sometimes we curl up and cash out for a bit. U.S. Olympic marathoner, Ryan Hall, describes his naps as “business meetings he schedules regularly”. If you are in serious training mode this is a great way to think about naps to get rid of the guilts!

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