I used to suck at rest days.
Dude – it’s the easiest day of the week!!!
I know, but I kept trying to turn rest days into running days and that never turned out well. I always thought I could, or should, sneak in a few extra miles. After all, I’m training to run ultras – I need miles. But instead of successfully logging the extra miles, some combination of the following happened:
- I ran the extra miles, which lead to burnout, which lead to a crappy run on my actual training run.
- I ran the extra miles, which lead to burnout that made me skip my actual training run.
- I didn’t run, but felt like I should run, so I felt crappy about it.
Alas, I was not embracing my rest day. Rather than looking at it as an opportunity to relax / recharge, I was looking at it as a missed opportunity. The mindset can make all the difference.
I’ve since tried to embrace the rest day, and I love it! I schedule it, just like a training run, and I’ve found it adds balance / structure to my week. I no longer go to work thinking ‘I should’ve snuck in a few extra miles this morning.’ I go to work thinking ‘Hey, good job, you slept in today.’
My rest days are now an opportunity to catch up on a few extra Z’s in the morning and grind / press a real cup of coffee. I still try to stretch during my rest days, and read about running, and tweet about running, and blog about running … but I don’t run. It also allows me to spend some extra time with my family because I’m up later the night before a rest day. I know the morning won’t start before 4am. Today I slept all the way till 6:15!!!
If you too struggle with your rest days, take it from me – embrace them. I bet you’ll love it.