What is it that is so hard about a Rest Day? We know we are supposed to take rest days and yet so many of us have such a difficult time actually taking a day off from exercising. By day off, I mean a real “day off” without any exercise. Full disclosure, I am guilty of just this very thing more weeks than not.
Rest Day Paradox
Logically, I know that rest days are important for recovery and to avoid injury and over training. Yet, for some reason, I have a very hard time accepting that I need them. It’s quite silly really. I know I am not some super freak of nature who does not need rest or someone who cannot get injured. In fact, just the opposite, I know I am prone to injury from over use. I am a very all or nothing person and it is easy for me to justify my intense workout schedule in my head. Turns out I am not alone in this illogical thinking.
Whenever I need info on all things real running, I go straight to my best sources of information. I go to my large pool of MRTT ladies for real answers from real runners. When I asked them how they felt about Rest Days, I was surprised by their answers. They too, overwhelming, seemed to find ways to justify forgoing a rest day.
Who Takes Rest Days?
These are some of the answers I got when I asked them if they take rest days:
” I just use my TRX and do core work”
“I know my body needs them but I feel guilty on my rest days and often end up going for a long walk”
“I don’t schedule rest days because I have a mix of higher and lower intensity workout days”
“Mostly I don’t take them but some of my strength training days are light”
“Often on a rest day I will do something light like a tennis clinic”
“Dog owners can’t take rest days”
“I feel guilty about taking rest days and get very antsy being idle. Sometimes I just go to yoga”
I did have 2 friends who do take rest days once a week and claim to enjoy them. We have all read the numerous articles and studies about the importance of rest days, yet it appears so many “regular” runners do not embrace them. What causes us to push ourselves without a break? Why do some of us feel guilty about resting when we know it’s beneficial?
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Would love to hear your thoughts on rest days. Love them? Hate them? Take them?