Rest Easy: Take a Chill Pill Once a Week
A rest day—closely related but slightly different from a recovery day, is a day when you don’t train. Block your running shoes from your peripheral vision and relax. Do not think about taking a quick run around the block, do not think about miles, distances or split times—literally, stop and smell the flowers. Consider this your day to recharge, reenergize and restore your body and mind. Not only will it give you a much-needed break from the grind of training but it will give your body the ability to gain strength, energy, restore essential glycogen levels and prevent overuse injuries.
Take a Chill Pill
We know what it’s like to be in the zone of a training schedule—eyes on the prize with all your attention and focus placed squarely on one goal: a half-marthon, marathon, triathlon, a PR, whatever it is you live, breathe and think about this goal most of the day. You adjust your eating and sleeping schedule for this goal. You skip date nights and dinner with friends to wake up for a long run or squeeze an extra brick workout into your day. Your life is a training schedule, which is why it’s so important for you to kick up your feet once a week, relax and don’t think about anything except enjoying your day. Take a yoga class, cook your favorite meal, linger during your morning coffee, catch up on your reading or head out to the garden. Take time to clear your head and enjoy a beautiful day without being clipped to a bike or sweating it out on the road.
Your mind and body will thank you, as will your spirit to keep your high level of training and focus. It might seem hard to take a break once a week, but trust us, your sanity and relationships will only benefit from a rest day.