Running is a tough, arduous fitness activity that can cause a quick increase in your heart rate, heavy breathing, and breathlessness - it’s also incredibly good for you and great fun! But when you are first getting into this hobby, it is undoubtedly hard. Once you find your feet, it starts to become a routine and every day it gets a little easier and more enjoyable! As addictive as running becomes, rest days are very important. But why exactly? And what should be done on these rest days? Read on to find out more.
Why Should Runners Take Rest Days?
Running three or four days a week on alternating days, and resting for the other remaining days, is the best way to push yourself without overdoing it. It’s important to take some time to rest your muscles, avoid stress fractures, protect tight tendons, give your brain time to chill, spend more time with family or friends, and try new activities. There are many benefits to resting!
Too much running will also stop you from performing your best. You’re not Superman (or Superwoman!), and although it can be really tempting to push yourself every day, rest days are good for the mind, body and soul. Your mental and physical well-being must always come first above everything else, even if you don’t want to stop!
What Should Runners Do On Rest Days?
Do you feel bored and lazy when you haven’t been for a run? We get it! We felt the same, but rest days are a great time to find new hobbies and take some time for self-care. Anything that you can do in order to recover from the previous day’s running will go towards making sure you’re ready for the next day. If you are feeling sore, get an ice bath going to help soothe those aching muscles, utilise a massage gun, and even make use of a foam roller - whatever is going to help you feel a bit better. Rest days are for recovery, but some light movement is possible. Just try not to overdo anything. Taking up other exercises like Yoga or TiChi can help to keep you moving without putting too much pressure on your body. Don’t feel like stretching? Rest days can be a great time to catch up on your reading, have a relaxing bubble bath or even rewatch your favourite TV shows. There’s a lot you can do on your rest days!
How Can Runners Schedule Their Rest Days?
Rest days should be a priority, and it’s helpful to incorporate them into your schedule as prominently as your training regime. Plan out what you’re going to do on your rest days - be it yoga or something else entirely - and be sure to split up running days into different levels of difficulty.
It is a good idea to note all this down in a journal and keep tabs on everything you do.
The schedule can be tweaked and changed in areas too so that you don’t get bored of it. Planning everything in detail can definitely help you to stay in full control and even build up some excitement around your rest days, allowing you to reach all of your goals and stay injury-free at the same time!
Is It Even Possible For Runners To Train On Rest Days?
In the case of elite-level runners, easy-paced running could be seen as a recovery to them. It’s definitely possible, but not very likely in most cases for anyone else to train on rest days. The best thing for you to do is to rest and recover. This will allow you to be ready to go again. If you train harder, then you’ll need to have more time and space for rest days as a result. Interestingly enough, female runners may need more rest days shortly before their period. This is due to the luteal phase, where you’re left feeling much more fatigued than usual, so take it easy and give yourself more time to rest when you need it!
Are There Any Products That Can Help Runners With Rest Days?
There are, in fact, plenty of products that can help you on rest days. Our Ultimate Running Letterbox Gifts include products like bath salts, energy gel, herbal tea, protein sachets, protein snacks and more. Everything you need for a relaxing rest day!
These running supplies and goodies are perfect for when you take a day off to rest from all that long, hard running. If you need to take a bath, then the bath salts will aid you in that all-important recovery process. The tea, on the other hand, is useful for a lot of great things! For example, chamomile tea can help with sleep and relaxation! How perfect is that?!