Honoring Rest Days

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 hardAnd 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?

8 thoughts on “Honoring Rest Days

  1. Heather says:

    I think every day is a rest day for me now. I thought I needed a lot of sleep before? That’s nothing!

    Cute picture of Rocky!

  2. This is one of the healthiest posts I’ve read on rest days. A really great perspective and one from a person who you can tell has achieved a great level of knowing one’s own self.

  3. I agree so much! Last night, I didnt get home until after 9:30 and I am always in bed by 9pm at the latest to be up at 4am. I was slightly freaking out and thought it be would awful waking up this morning. Thankfully it wasn’t so bad, but I am so with you on making sure you get adequate rest! :)

  4. Resting is as important as hard days. Having a hard workout, a recovery day and then another workout the next day is so much better than a hard one followed by two mediocre ones. It is so hard to listen to your body and take breaks, but remember what your body can do for you! it just needs to be taken care of properly

  5. Good for you for listening to your body. I agree that rest days are important and it’s good to be in tune with that. And it is okay to take a day off. In fact it usually does a lot of good, giving you tons of energy for the next day. I have to remind myself constantly that it’s good to take a day off.

  6. I have a really hard time listening to my body. And sometimes, I think my workouts are so light that I don’t need rest days (I would be resting from… what?).

    However, I do see some marathon training plans that have you running 5 days a week and say “no way.” I don’t even think my body can handle two days in a row. It sucks but that’s how it is.

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