As shown in my marathon training plan there are numerous types of runs used to prepare for a race. In this series I’m breaking down the types of runs, what they mean and their purpose, and also talking about other important such running things.
Today’s topic is rest days. Surprisingly, these are in specific places in my marathon training plan and are a super important part of the training process.
That said, I struggle with rest days.
The illogical part of my brain things I’m being lazy because I’m doing nothing when, in reality, I’m allowing my body to heal so I can keep running.
Rest days help to (source):
- restock glycogen stores
- build strength
- reduce fatigue
Taking 1-2 days off each week won’t result in any detraining, so I’m not losing fitness, and I’m certainly not being a lazy bum (although I may feel like it).
I’ve been working on changing my view around rest days, instead of thinking that I’m doing nothing I’m thinking of rest days as something scheduled into my training program as something I am doing to heal. So, instead of doing nothing I’m actually actively healing my body in preparation for the upcoming week.
Sometimes I really struggle with listening to my body and taking rest days. I made the decision to take today as a rest day for a couple of reasons:
- My heart rate felt elevated last night (this can be a sign of over training)
- I went for a very intense massage last night and I’m a bit sore
- I woke up feeling tired and dehydrated this morning
With only 4 more runs until my race, I know I won’t lose any fitness and, 10 days out (there’s that pesky countdown again!) my number one goal should be keeping my body healthy. That means drinking more water (I’ve been struggling with this lately), sleep (some studies recommend sleeping 8-10 hours when training) and eating healthy foods.