Rest day, hmph.

So, I have a question.

How do you feel about taking a rest day when you truly don’t feel like you “need” one?

Because that’s exactly how I felt this morning. Like I really wanted to get a workout in but it was my planned rest day today so I behaved and just did a little ab work ala Core Fusion at home before work. And that was it. I promise.

But I really could’ve used a sweat-fest – like Ride, maybe. But I knew I wanted to run tomorrow so I didn’t want to change my rest day to then, but I also didn’t really want to call today a rest day either. See the dilemma here?

The reason for the desired sweat-fest? Grumpy pants. Plain and simple. A good sweat would’ve put me in a much better frame of mind today. I can guarantee it. <hello endorphins? I miss you>

So back to my question ‘o the day – how do you feel about taking the requisite one rest day/week if your body is feeling good and you are reallly craving a good workout? Do you still take your rest day likeΒ  a good girl (boy)? Or do you skip it and make sure to get a good rest in within the next day or so, instead?

I’m truly at a loss at how to answer this one. I’m really not one to advocate for skipping rest days but on the other hand, I’m also a big fan of “listening to your body” too. And dammit, I really wanted to listen to my body’s cry for a good sweat today. Hmph. <arms crossed>

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20 thoughts on “Rest day, hmph.

  1. Given I had to practically force you to take a rest day…now you know how I feel when I don’t want to take a rest day and then you yell at me πŸ˜‰ I think you should have just taken tomorrow as a rest day if your body was saying go go go! We could have ridden together! (insert purposeful guilt trip here hehe). Just teasing, but Heather is right, your body will thank you!

    • I knowwwww. I could’ve gone to Ride with you, yes. But you KNOW I wanted to run tomorrow so that’s my rationale for sticking the rest today even though my body wasn’t in the mood to rest. Wahhh <—insert wahhhbulance here

  2. I have failed to learn the true definition of “rest”. I am AWFUL at it. I have to get some kind of sweat in every day or I am cranky pants. I believe if you aren’t pushing yourself to the max at every workout, it’s okay to do a workout daily. When your body really needs rest, it will let you know! I say sweat it out if you need to!

    • I used to be that way too – I would skip rest days for weeks, but I soon learned how unhealthy that was for me (and dare I say, it might not be healthiest for you, either) and built in a required rest day per week. I usually look forward to the rest but for some reason this week, I wasn’t really digging it. Mostly due to my mood. But I know, as Heather pointed out, that I’ll thank myself for that tomorrow when I get up and feel more refreshed for my next run.

  3. I usually try to go by how I am feeling rather than whether or not I have a “planned” day. But it’s hard! I think our bodies know us best, though.

    • I know…that’s what I battled this morning. I was stuck because I REALLY am focusing on running this week and knew I wanted to run tomorrow so I didn’t want to move my rest day. But on the other hand, I knew it was safer to keep my rest day and face a little grumpiness than skip the rest day entirely – because then I’d start getting into the habit of skipping them again which I know is bad, bad, bad!

  4. Ooh this is a toughie. I would say in your situation — i.e. still easing back into running after — you were absolutely right to take the day’s rest. And generally speaking, I think one complete rest day a week is a good rule of thumb. But then there are weeks when we need 2 — or when we are too tired to work out properly at all — and those weeks are naturally balanced out by weeks when you’re feeling awesome and revved up and raring to go. In those weeks, it seems like maybe the best thing to do is listen to your energy levels, and ditch the rest.

    This comes up a lot with people who workout a lot, right. And every time it does, it reminds me that these judgements are not only incredibly personal, but also that they change depending on what kind of period you are in as an individual. Like I say, I think you made the right decision this time πŸ™‚

    And thank you for the comment on my doldrums! I am already feeling a whole lot better after some really great support and feedback. Rationally, I *know* things are nowhere near as bad as they feel. But yet I still can’t shake the mood. Like you say, I think rest and sleep is probably the best prescription right now!

    • Thank you for confirming how I’ve been feeling today about the whole rest issue. You put into words exactly what I’ve been grapplilng with! Thank you for making me feel better about making the right decision for me. πŸ™‚

      I’m so glad my comment helped a little bit – enjoy that rest, my dear!

  5. I’m a lot more laid back about my workouts these days so I can’t really say this applies to me, but I usually just try to take a walk on the days that I’m itching to do something but are scheduled “rest” days.
    Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

    • Great way to look at it – and honestly, I am a lot more laid back about my workouts than I used to be (especially when it came to rest days) but for some reason today was just a toughie for me to take the rest. I’m seeing now that it was definitely the right move though. And I did just walk around at lunch to meet a friend so that cheered me up – was so good to be in the sunshine!

  6. You’ve hit the nail on the head, if you’re body telling you it’s okay to work out, I say work out. There will be other days when you and your body won’t feel like working out even if it’s on your schedule to work out or at least that’s what I do.

    You know what I was thinking it’s kind of cool that we love to workout. I couldn’t imagine saying to myself when I was younger and in school, I’m not keen on taking a rest day (hated exercise when I was in school).

    • I flip flop on this one, clearly based on my post today. On the one hand, I agree with you – listening to your body will never fail you. But on the other, we all need to rest our bodies after working them all week, regardless. And, wouldn’t I be setting a terrible example if I didn’t take a rest day like I tell all of YOU to do each week?? I struggle with this one.

    • That’s true, Tina – I guess I could’ve used Sunday as rest instead and not lost sleep over it. I don’t know why I struggle with this one – I want to always do right by my body so if I ignored it today when it said “sweat!” was that wrong? I’m not really sure.

  7. I don’t really like taking rest days either. My theory is, if I am always doing something different, I’m not always working the same body parts, so why bother? If I am tired and don’t feel well, that’s another story. But most of the time I feel like I just want to keep on going.

    I do think it catches up with me from time to time. I am actually in a “forced” rest day today because of the weather – I wanted to run, however it’s too windy out. But part of me wonders if I wasn’t on day 6 with no rest would still think it’s too windy? Or if the weather was gorgeous, would I have found another excuse? Hmmmmm….

    • The thing is – usually when it comes time for a rest day, I am MORE than ready for it. My body is aching, I have DOMS, my legs hurt, whatever the case may be. But this week was a good workout week yet I felt I could’ve done something more strenuous today, but like I said to others who commented, I struggled with listening to my body and sweating it out vs. not listening to my body but doing the “right” thing and resting. I still am not sure I know the right answer. And I suppose there really isn’t a “right” or “wrong” per se.

      I do know that rest is incredibly important to the workout process. Even if it’s a gorgeous day and you want to run. πŸ˜‰

  8. They are a necessary “evil” (and/or blessing, depending totally on the week! πŸ™‚ It’s sort of like the “drink before you’re thirsty/fuel before you’re hungry” rule on Long runs or rides. You may not think you need it yet, but if you wait, it’ll come back to get ya – whether that be in totally energy drop, tired/sore muscles, overall fatigue, etc. Most rest days I don’t “want” to take, but embrace them and know that you’ll run stronger tomorrow because of it!

  9. Pingback: On being able to. « EatDrinkBreatheSweat

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