“Five Signs You Need a Recovery Day” by Brittany Risher for Under Armor’s MapMyRun blog is one of those articles that tells you what you know to be true, but gives you permission to act on it. Beginning runners may find it hard to believe, but taking a scheduled rest day is one of the most difficult ‘routines’ you will face once you start to experience improvement from training.
It is thrilling to behold the personal physical changes that result from adhering closely to a program of stretching, strength, flexibility, and other focused workouts. Realization that the power to positively influence fitness lies within us builds confidence but can also inspire a bit of insecurity. We might not want to lose what has been gained through such continuous hard work!
I loved the way Risher says it: “You don’t have to go to confession, and you’re not weak. In fact everyone needs time to recover, and taking a day off here and there will help you grow stronger.” Her article goes on to quote an expert who recommends 1 day per week of rest for experienced runners and every third day for beginner or returning runners.
Her discussion of the signs that recovery is needed, including injury, pain, fatigue, or illness with fever, implies that more than one day of recovery may be needed to get back to a state of health.
Since the holiday season is upon us the last sign on Risher’s list that resting is a good idea, a hangover, is timely. It reminds us that workout scheduling may be the real issue. Often the longest runs of the week are intended to be completed on weekends. Commonly these days are considered to be more relaxed, without the usual weekday commitment and commute to work or school. They are likely able to accommodate the extra time required for a distance run. Also, friends might more easily be able to meet up for a social group run.
However, those of us planning to run long on a weekend morning must be mindful of alcohol intake the prior evening. In ‘party’ weeks consider running long on a Friday, Thursday, or Monday, for example instead of a Saturday or Sunday. These days tend to be heavy with family activities and may not be ideal anyway. Or imbibing less for the sake of headache-free miles. Or purposefully scheduling a rest day after each event. It’s worth tweaking the schedule to avoid giving up either activity!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...