Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rest Day Guilt and the Importance of Recovery

Yesterday Jeff had a work dinner and wasn’t scheduled to get home until late, so we decided to take a rest day from running/working out.  It had actually been 6 days since my last rest day, so I probably needed to give myself a night off. 

But I felt SO guilty?!?  I also felt like I would get behind in my training and that taking the night off would make me slower.  So I just moped around the house thinking about how I should have ran and how I was being such a sloth.  Why does my mind think this way??

To help ease my mind and to remind myself that rest is just as important as hard workouts, I read a Runner’s World Article called “Rest Easy- Recovery is an important- but often neglected- part of training plans.”

This article reminds you to:

Ease up- There are weeks where your times are slower, you feel like you are running with weights around your ankles, and your body is sore.  This means you are most likely overdoing it and your body is telling you to ease up.  Take a rest day.

Refuel- Eat (or drink) some protein and/or carbs 15 to 30 minutes after every run.  I am not usually immediately hungry after a hard run so I typically drink some GU Brew or Nuun in my water or even make a smoothie with some protein powder.  There is also a campaign to Refuel with Chocolate Milk….I’m not a huge fan of chocolate milk, but I will treat myself to an Oreo dipped in regular milk, whoops-a-daisy!

Baby Your Body- After a hard workout or a long, think about an ice bath.  I used to religiously ice bath after every soccer game in college and I swear it helped me recover.  In Seattle, I would wade waist deep in Lake Washington for the same benefits (now I need to find somewhere here in Denver to ice bath it up….).  Also bust out that foam roller to massage those muscles.

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