Rest Days (It’s Part of the Program!)



Regardless of what level you are training at, you all have one day a week that you are scheduled to “rest.” Days of rest are just as important, if not more important, as your days of activity. Our society, however, does not typically “rest” though. Last year alone, more than half of us chose not to use our full vacation time from our jobs. This same work ethic and devotion gets put into everything else we do, so imagine when you are told to take a “day” off from your training. One of your immediate thoughts may be “Yeah, but imagine how much better I’ll be if I just do a small run,” “No one else is taking a day off, then why should I?” We all want to be better at what we set our minds to, but rest is restorative, both physically and mentally!

A break from physical activity helps your muscles recuperate, rebuild, and heal. At this point in your training, I am sure that you also experienced frustration or difficulties along the way. If you include activities that are pleasing as well as a challenge, you can still use your “rest” days to your advantage. Resting does not mean you are weak or not good enough, instead it’s a time to build on your strengths and abilities while taking some time to think and plan for the hard parts in your training.

Tip From Ryan Shuda, M.A., LPC, (p) CC-AASP, and Sport & Health Consultant-
Park Ridge Psychological Services