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Rest Days

BexHBexH Posts: 226
I was just wondering how important rest days are? I haven't had a day off in ages but I really vary what I do (gym, spinning, swim, circuits, body combat classes etc) so never do the same thing 2 days in a row. I find it hard with the dark nights not to make full use of weekends for cycling/running outside and midweek I have such a strong routine and join various friends for classes etc that I hate missing anything! I can only see this situation getting worse as have just joined the Tri club and hope to join them for swimming sessions in particular.

So I guess my question is should I make myself take 1 day off a week or does the fact that I'm training at a low level and varying it lots mean that it's not a big problem? I'm sensible ie. sore shins= no treadmill for a while and I won't push it if anything feels sore etc. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!


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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Rest is an important element of training, and should be planned in the way that training sessions are.

    However, how much you need, and when you need it, will be particular to you.

    Listen to your body - if it is "sore" in a way that might be a precursor to something worse, then rest.

    If you have a bad day or two - e.g. can't motivate yourself/miss the interval targets or whatever, then you be overtired/overtraining, so a rest would be a good thing.

    Sometimes a week off can be a good thing too!

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    Every athlete should have at least 1 rest day per week, period. Mind you, some elites train twice a day and have no rest day, but I think everyone else should have a rest day.
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    deeessdeeess Posts: 150
    i was reading joe friel's book the other day and he really emphasises that overtraining is one of the worst things you can do for your performance. rest is key to allow your body to go through the necessary recovery process
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Counterintuitively it is on your rest day(s) that you reap the rewards for your training. It is only when at rest that your body can properly repair & adapt, altho I dislike anologoies that liken a human body to a machine....how would your mechanic fix your dodgy engine if you constantly drove your car? Think of your days off as an opportunity to recharge refuel refresh the mind (overlooked but important) yet another discipline..triathlon? nope multiathlon. Day off does not mean total inactivity, but no scheduled training is good for a change & if your day off is a walk in the country, a day shopping..whatever then better still, so long as you eat well, rest, sleep well & stay hydrated you will be better for it.
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    BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Its the rest days when the magic happens.

    Muscles need time of lay off to mend all the micro rips that caused by training. Its this repair that makes them bigger and stronger.

    Have at least one a week.
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    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Do a quick experiment over a week,do three days of any discipline making the last day the one you do the longest distance.Take 2-3 days off then do the last days distance again and after factoring in the weather etc hopefully you will see a noticeable drop in your times/heartrate etc.

    Personnally I go for the 6 off 1 on training regime.
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    jacjac Posts: 452
    I agree that rest days are essential. It's only when you rest that your body adapts/grows following the strain you've put it under.

    As well making sure I have at least one day off a week every fourth week I have an "easy" week. Reduced hours and two sometimes three days of rest.

    You risk exhausting your body if you don't let it rest. Performance will dip. You'll get injured or ill. It's not worth it. Ease back and perform better.
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    BexHBexH Posts: 226
    Hmmm, thanks for the input everyone. Guess I should just stick to meeting mates in the spa one evening a week rather than doing classes before! Ah well, it all keeps me out of the pub which can only be a good thing eh?!
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    as well as 1 full day off, i pick another day where i just do 1 swim. i dont use my legs much when i swim. its like my legs having 2 days off.

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    husslerhussler Posts: 237
    I train at least twice a day and have an easy day with either an hour spin on the bike or an hour easy L1 run. I alternate the easy day with a day off every week so one week the Monday will be day off and the following Monday will be an easy day.

    So in the end I have a day off every 14 days. Saying that if im feeling too tired to train or start a specific session ie hill reps on the bike where I maintain 90-95 rpm on the Big Ring and I dont hit the targets at the start, then I will either sack it and have a day off or turn the ride into an hour easy spin...

    My point being listen to your body, if its telling you that its tired and cant train dont force it, have a day off or even 2or3 days off to recover.

    I try to increase my Carb intake on the day prior to a hard session, and increase Protein on the day before an easier day

    IE easy day training eat more carbs/less protein to prepare you for the following days hard session and on a hard days training eat more Protein/less carbs to help your body refuel/recover on the following easier day :)

    That way I find my weight fluctuates less :)
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    jon.E wrote:

    Do a quick experiment over a week...

    Anecdotal, rather than an experiment. But I do my local Park Run www.parkrun.com fairly regularly - same course, same competitors to benchmark yourself against.

    My fastest time was after two days of rest. Plus some good sleep and nutrition.

    My worst was the day after a 10 mile Marathon Pace run (a.m.) and Circuit Training (p.m.).

    Interestingly, I didn't feel tired - but I just couldn't run very fast.

    I do nothing except stretching/really short slow run in the two days before a race.
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