“You know, you’re going to have to rest.”
These words from Jaime Hernandez, my personal trainer and founder of Health & Exercise Prescriptions.
Why, you might be wondering, would my trainer be telling me to rest? I started a new training program in hopes of running the Bellingham Bay half marathon in September. For me, the biggest challenge is coaxing my cranky knees into running that distance. So, I am running three days a week and cross training with weights and yoga on the other days. But Jaime knows me, and my go-go mentality, which is why he admonished me to work in a day of rest.
Even for a type A personality like me, I intellectually know that our bodies need a certain amount of rest from exercise to rebuild muscles and lessen general aches and pains.
Jaime explains the science behind rest this way: “You have to have the right amount of volume (work) to cause your body to adapt, but also the right amount of rest so your body can adapt to the added work. If your program is built incorrectly you will get injured and become over trained, which means symptoms of fatigue and even injury.”
OK, ‘nuff said. Injury is the last thing I need if I’m want to compete in a half marathon.
Still, I know my body needs rest, but it can be hard to put into practice. But, life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need, and lately I’ve gotten so busy that I simply need a day away from training to focus on other priorities. And, you know what? The rest is good. Some of the aches and pains that have been plaguing me are diminishing, and my runs feel stronger having given my body that day off.
There’s also the concept of active rest, which means it may be your day off from training, but you don’t have to be a couch potato. I can play with my kids, which often involves sprinting, climbing or “adventures” in the woods, take a walk, clean house – all are active and keep the calories burning without the rigors of a regular workout.
So, I am learning to love my day off. Rest doesn’t seem like so much of a four-letter word anymore.
Health & Exercise Prescriptions