For some runners, the thought of taking a day off seems counterproductive. If you want to be better at something, you should practice every day, right? Well, sort of. When it comes to running, the rest day is extremely important for both your mental and physical health.
Many running injuries stem from overuse. By honoring the rest day, you can give your muscles a chance to repair and recover from the trauma caused by running. Mentally, a break from running can actually help with your motivation and make you more committed to the next run.
For most people, at least one rest day per week is recommended. I usually rest at least 2-3 days per week; especially on weeks with long back-to-back runs.
Here are five tips to honor the rest day(s) and still stay motivated:
- Research new running routes. Map My Run features user routes for many cities/towns across the US.
- Explore new gear. Running Warehouse has TONS of apparel and accessories. And with free 2-day shipping (and free return shipping!), it's stress-free shopping!
- Get inspired! Try following your favorite active companies on facebook/twitter/pinterest/instagram for inspiring running and fitness quotes. I like Runner's World, Sweaty Bands, and Sparkle Athletic.
- Investigate a destination race. Pick a place you've always wanted to visit and then look for a race!
- Eat ice cream and watch a Disney movie. I'm serious. This is a vital part of training :-)
Happy running- and resting!