Last night I was super tired and didn’t get my usual “down time” of reading in bed before calling lights out. Scott and I started watching this season’s final episodes of Lost and I think we cranked out like 3 episodes last night. I was so tired when I finally crashed out in bed. Not too late, but 1/2 an hour later than my normal bedtime of 10pm. Sleep is important to me in a big way and I try to make sure that I get plenty of it. Not just because if I don’t, I will quickly turn into a psycho-hosebeast but also because I want to preform well when I workout.
Crappy sleep = crappy workout.
I want to be at my best! I’m pretty good at knowing when my body just needs a rest though and when I can push through. Today when I woke up to get my day started and take care of Rocky, I knew right away that my body needed more sleep and rest, not a run. I finished up with Rocks and then went back to bed.
Sometimes I just need more sleep, so I’ll sleep in and then workout later. Perhaps not getting in a 6 mile run but a 4 miler instead. Or I’ll do a workout DVD or some yoga.
Other times, like today, I can just tell that my body needs a break. Two years ago when I vowed to get healthier, I also vowed to pay attention to my bod and listen to what it tries to tell me. I’ve become pretty good at this and at respecting its wishes. I know the difference between needing a little bit more sleep and needing a total rest day. I can’t explain it, but my body feels differently between the two.
When I first started working out, I didn’t take rest days because I didn’t think I could afford too. Now I see how important rest days are and how important it is to respect your body.
I have a “scheduled” rest day during the week and it’s on Fridays. Sometimes it’s a full rest day and sometimes I do run in the morning. It depends on how I feel and how the rest of my week was. More often than not, it’s a rest day. Occasionally, like today, my body lets me know I need another one. Before I used to feel guilty about taking a day off of running. Now I do not. I need it, my body says so.
Sometimes I feel guilty about missing a workout. As if other runners or people look at me and think, “She’s a runner, she should want to run all the time!”
I think people (and fellow runners) forget that running is hard. And it’s hard on the body! No matter what kind of runner you are, everybody needs a rest day. Your body is naturally going to want to take a break here and there. It doesn’t mean you don’t like running anymore. Or that you’re slacking. Or that you aren’t motivated.
It just means that you need a break.
This applies to all kinds of workouts. You’re just going to need a break. And it’s okay.
How do you feel about rest days? Do you listen to what your body tries to tell you?