After revising my training log and looking ahead to what’s next on my training schedule, one thing that stands out is a lack of recovery, or rest, days. If there is anything I hate more than going on a super long run, it’s taking a rest day.
What? Why? People think I’m nuts. Probably true.
I’ve always considered rest days as claiming defeat, saying that you’re training plan is too hard for you. When I was big time into CrossFit, I would do 5 back-to-back days in the gym, run on the weekends and sometimes go for a run before or after the WOD. To make things worse, I wasn’t stretching and I was barely taking the time to foam roll, ice or elevate. No wonder I got injured so badly.
What’s the point in working out so hard if you end up injuring yourself and taking 6-9 months off from activity completely?
I read this article from Whole9 this morning and it really struck a chord with me. Other people have the same struggle as I do – they don’t like unscheduled rest days! The bottom line is: I need more rest and recovery. This was the most insightful part of the article for me:
“Improvements in fitness don’t come while you’re training…they come while you are recovering from training.”
Shiz. I got some things to work on. I know that 100% of my injuries have all come from overuse, so adding in proper rest and recovery should be one of the biggest portions of my training plan.
With that said, here is my recovery to-do list:
- Get more sleep! In bed by 9:30 or 10pm every night
- Stretch after every workout and before bed or in the morning
- Use that foam roller!
- Wear compression socks to bed or after long runs
- Sleep in on the weekends
- Learn new ways to cope with work and life stress other than with exercise (this one is HUGE for me)
- Drink more water and less coffee (tear)
This realization came at the perfect time – I got an email from my previous CrossFit this morning asking me to come back and offering me 50% off if I did. This caused a huge internal struggle. Ultimately, I know I’m too competitive to go back and take it easy on myself. For now, the goal is to enjoy my training plan and let go of all the guilt I associate with taking rest days.