When I was reading intelligent stuff for this post I googled “why do runners need to take rest days” and the first thing that came up was “why do runners shave their legs”. LOL. I actually don’t know the answer to this, I’m pretty sure that on the days I am slow it is not because I haven’t shaved my legs 😉 Throwback pic of when I was little, showcasing what a rest day should look like:
So I haven’t exactly been running every day or anything recently, but between traveling from Canada to NZ, doing yoga most days, running on the other days, and doing awesome sculpture hikes (see my previous post 😉 ), I have been pretty darn active and busy. I often find that the busier I get the more I want to do, for example when I have been running for a few consecutive days (okay, like four-five consecutive days), I really want to keep going but my body starts feeling a little more creaky and I start getting sore calves which is always a sign for me that it is rest day time.
This sums it up:
( From http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/time-rest)
Over time I’ve gotten a lot better at listening to my body and taking a rest day whenever I need it, not just as per my schedule. This has definitely taken a lot of time to figure out for me, further confounded by the fact that often directly after a run I feel more energized, and so on my tired days I think I should go for a run to increase my energy. Um, not so much. My body feeling so tired is actually a sign that it needs more rest, not more running. Groundbreaking stuff, guys 😉 I do think that running and working out generally increases energy though, so how can we tell when we need more rest rather than more working out?
I think this article with 10 signs that you need a rest day is super helpful:
Number 5 is very true for me:
So: How do you know when your body is needing a rest day?
Do you do any exercise on your rest day? – I often want to do yoga but inevitably I get too into it and I don’t think it is really a full rest day if I have done a thousand chaturangas and planks. Now I try to save yoga for my easy days (not that yoga is actually easy haha) or for after a run when I want a good stretch.