Smart ideas for rest days
Having convinced yourself that your rest days are worth honouring, what to do on a day you are not running? After all, you want to make even the down time count, right? Well you could try…
- Take a long walk – take the dog, take the kids, borrow one or the other or just take yourself off for a hike. Active recovery is by far the most effecting and hiking fits the bill perfectly. It is a great low intensity, moving activity that will help release some of the stiffness generated by running.
- Go do something really different – get yourself to the climbing wall, take to the pool, jump on the bike. Any activity that keeps your body moving but in a different way to your running will aid your recovery. That said, a 100 mile bike ride might be pushing that boundary a touch too far.
- Go yogi – make the most of the opportunity to get a good stretch, a yoga session or some pilates. They will all contribute to your overall conditioning and increase the ability of the soft tissues to cope with the stresses and strains that you accumulate through training.
- Volunteer at a race – well none of them happen without a team of voluteers and the atmosphere on the support side of the equation can be as invigorating and inspiring as actually running. It’s great mental reset.
- Get a massage – following a hard running day or a following a signigicant block of training, a massage is a great way to assist your recovery. You’ll feel the benefit in both mind and body and it will help to mobilise your lymphatic system (which needs muscle movement to circulate the lymph). If you schedule one on the day before a hard run or a race, let your therapist know so the massage can be devised accordingly.
Keep eating well and drinking your fluids so you are well prepared to step back into the next stage of the training programme and you should find you are running stronger in both mind and body. Go team you!