For as long as I have been doing endurance sports (and that’s a pretty long time now!) I have held Monday as my rest day. And while I know lots of you folks out there dread or avoid taking rest days, I do not. In fact, I love my rest days as much as my training days.
Why? So many reasons. Starting with the obvious, my body needs that day of rest. I don’t care what anyone thinks, we need rest to reap the benefits of the work we have put in. No one is exempt from this–just accept it. So I love giving my tired muscles a break.
The second reason I love my rest day is sleep. This is the one day out of every week that I allow myself to sleep as late as I can, within the confines of having kids that need to get off to school. That usually means sleeping until about 6:30. I try to get to bed by 9 p.m. on Sunday nights so that I am getting nine or so hours of sleep. It feels great to wake up feeling refreshed on Monday mornings. I love it.
Third–there’s the mental aspect of a rest day. Just taking a break from thinking about training and focusing the entire day on work and family is refreshing for me. It recharges my batteries so that I am ready to go again come Tuesday.
I don’t follow this rest day schedule 100 percent of the time, but I’d say about 95 percent of the time, it’s how I roll. I’ll occasionally throw in an easy swim or spin on my Monday if I feel up to it or maybe missed a session the week before. I’ll usually alter the day off after a race, as well. Otherwise, you’ll find me sleeping late and “slacking off” on a Monday. It might just be my favorite day of the week.
Do you take a regular rest day each week? Why or why not?