Rest days are important to any fitness routine. And I rest on Mondays. The week begins, I go to school, and I don’t have any pressure to squeeze in my workout. I spend my afternoon with my children, and prepare a somewhat more special dinner because I have time. It helps me look forward to the beginning of the work week.
My legs are always beat by the time I finish my Sunday runs, especially since I have started this advanced program. I am trying to increase my speed, so my workouts are much more strenuous than the typical marathon training program. Endurance is my friend. I can crank out the miles, but having to run as fast as I can…is quite a challenge for me.
So, what’s a rest day look like? I like to begin with breakfast, followed by a short yoga routine with large muscle group poses that wake up my muscles and stretch them out a bit. While static stretching has it’s benefits, I find that movement stimulates my blood flow for a better stretch.
It is important to let my leg muscles really get a break on Monday, so I avoid using them as much as I can. No running, and no excessive walking. Not easy to do with my job, but I work it out!
Nutrition becomes a focal point, as well. I make sure that my diet includes more protein than usual, for muscle repair, and plenty of complex carbohydrates for energy replenishment.
Lastly, I use my rest days to let my mind relax about my training. Although running is relaxing, all of the planning and the pressure that I tend to put on myself, wears me down mentally somewhat. But in Monday, I relax my mind too.
Don’t leave rest days out of your exercise routine. They provide an opportunity for you to replenish your body and your mind. And they give you a little extra time in your schedule to treat yourself to an activity other than running.