We frequently talk about the importance of the things you can do outside of running or training to be a better athlete. These things include rest days, sleep, proper nutrition, and mental health. Your training plan can go perfectly but it's not going to be as productive if your recovery plan isn't going well. One step of recovery is the rest days and making the most of them (or rather, not wasting them). Read through the following graphics for our best rest day tips!
It's best to take a full day off. We generally recommend one rest day per week. If you're a higher-level athlete, you may have a training period that is longer than the typical 7-day cycle so you might not rest 1 day per week but rather once during that 10-14 day cycle. Cross-training days are not rest days. Read below...
Hopefully, you feel like you don't have to do anything in particular on a rest day. If you're someone who likes action, it may seem natural to take action with your recovery. I hear of people who are spending excessive time using massage guns and foam rollers, for example. If you have trouble resting, you may want to explore this further. What comes up for you when you think about taking a day completely off? Exercise addiction is a thing and it may need to be addressed with your healthcare provider.
Below are some options for what you can do for a healthy rest day.
Watch out for those hard yoga classes. Yoga can be a good activity on a rest day but once again be careful about feeling the NEED to do something. We recommend minimal commitments on rest days.
Consider how your rest day fits into the rest of your week...
Did we mention how it's healthy to take a rest day?! If you have trouble taking a rest day, we'd recommend exploring that further. We'd be happy to start that conversation with you.
There are lots of reasons to take an unplanned rest day...
If you want access to more advice like this, consider joining the Omega Project Running Club. You'll have access to training plans on the RunDNA app, quarterly 3D gait screens, group runs, a private Facebook group, and more!
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