Rest days make me anxious, moody, and sad. In fact, I start experiencing these symptoms just anticipating a rest day!
On Tuesday, I made myself rest because the Harrisburg Mile was the next day. On Monday, I was already starting to get anxiety about it. I know why I get anxious- I'm getting myself out of my comfort zone. There are a few things I have complete control of in my life, and one of them is how/when I exercise. Letting go of that control is SCARY.
Monday evening, I said to myself, "You ARE in control. You are CHOOSING a rest day. This is your CHOICE. YOU CONTROLLED IT."
Isn't it ridiculous that I have to repeat that mantra to myself? I have come a long way in my fitness journey, but I am still not comfortable with rest days.
Benefits of Rest Days:
1. Prevents overuse injuries
2. Restores glycogen stores
3. Prevents mental burnout
4. Repairs tissue damage
I know they are beneficial. I'm not an idiot. I would never deny their value... that's why I make myself take one from time to time. I know I won't get fat if I don't work out for one or two days. I know I will not lose muscle or speed. I know these things for a fact... which is why it is so crazy! How can I know something is logically and scientifically true, yet I would rather do anything than take a day off from exercise???
This is how I get away with not taking a weekly rest day: I rest body parts. For instance, if I lift chest and back on a Monday, I count that as a rest day for my legs. Then I'll go for a run on Tuesday. Rest lower body Monday and rest Upper body Tuesday. BAM! You see how I outsmarted those pesky rest days?
Yet, if I have an important race coming up, or I'm aiming for a PR, I know the best way to reach my goal is to rest my entire body so it is ready to roll!
Rest days have served me well for the most recent races I have done. I COMPLETELY RESTED for three full days before the Harrisburg Marathon. I was like a rabbit when that gun went off! I did the same thing when I PR'ed in the 5k. Rest days are the icing on the cake that is your training!
My goal for Tuesday was to get my mind off the fact that I couldn't work out. My husband and I went swimming at Little Buffalo State Park, which was something different for us and a lot of fun. It kept my mind off the fact that I couldn't workout. And it also kept me away from the pantry and my stash of chocolate covered coffee beans!
I know obsessing over getting a workout in seems superficial, but like I said, I obsess over things I can control. There is so much in our lives that are out of our control. I know that's why I cling to this.
At least I am not clinging to drugs, alcohol, or hookers, right!?
Do you hate rest days? Why or why not?