Rest is Best

Rest is best. We know that!

Telling someone to rest is a lot easier than doing it yourself.  Telling someone to do ANYTHING is easier said than done.

Throughout my blogging journey, many people have emailed or asked my thoughts on topics including running, life, and, you guessed it: rest.

Whenever someone emails me: should I rest? I always give my honest feedback. If you’re asking me, then usually rest is best.

If you are injured with a bone-related injury, always rest.  If you are injured with a muscular related injury, sometimes rest will help, but sometimes it won’t.  Rest will never hurt you, and missing an individual run or even a week is nothing in the long scheme of things.

Anyway, I’m not a coach or doctor, so giving medical or training advice is not what this post is about.  I’m just a woman telling people why rest is best, including myself.

In my training recap on Monday, I talked about my personal needs and why rest was best for me right now.  I’m often out of my house for 12+ hours a day.  That isn’t the whole day, and many people are out of their house longer.  I wish I could squeeze running in, but I would be more tired and more exhausted. Realistically, there wasn’t a point.  It was better for me to take a few days off, get quality sleep, focus on things currently going on, and regroup from there.

So this week, that is precisely what I did.  I definitely feel much better because of it.  I might do a short run tomorrow and see how I feel.

Here are a Few Important Reasons Why Rest is Best:

It allows you to Refocus Goals:

Right now, I have no idea what I want to train for. Do I want to train for another marathon? How about a 5k PR? Maybe even try and better my half marathon PR? I have no clue.

Sometimes you need to take time off regardless of whether you reached your goal or not.  Rest is best because, with training, you put your body through a tough period.  It doesn’t matter if your body ends up in a PR or not; you still put yourself through tough training. Taking time off allows you to reflect and think about what you want in the future.

Rest is Because for the Emotional Break:

As hard as it can be to admit this, running and training can be exhausting.  For me, running has never been a therapy of any kind.  It is never my way to “escape the world.” Training for a goal race is exhausting.  I need time away from the sport to fall in love with it again, and I think we all do. Rest is best simply for the mental health regroup.

While it has only been a few days, I have already felt fonder of the sport again.  Today, Thursday, I want to run.  Last Thursday, I had no interest and even loathed the idea of running.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder:

For me, I like to crave running again.  I want to feel like I want to run!  Along the same lines of mental recovery, it’s important to want to run.  If you don’t start running again, feeling “refreshed,” you’ll end up in a burn out longer and faster.

Obviously, Everyone Knows, Rest is Best for the Recovery:

If you don’t allow your body time to recover from training stress, you will continue to feel worn down, and it will take you longer to recover from runs. Rest is best, and you cannot outrun injury.

Speaking of Injury: 

As one of the most injury-prone people out there, I’ve learned I do need extra rest and recovery. If you cannot recover, your body will be more susceptible to injury. Full body rest is best for recovery.

It is better to take a few days or a week off early than several months off with a serious injury.  I’m not injured now, but there have been a few times I should have rested to keep a minor injury from becoming serious.

Healing Small Aches and Pains:

Sometimes you have small aches and pains that you don’t realize you have.  Rest is best to heal those. An amount of time off allows your body to heal.  Running every other day or every few days doesn’t let your body heal quickly.  By taking time off and resting, your body will use more energy to recover versus recovering from daily runs as well as small aches and pains.

Conclusion: So Why is Rest Best?

Resting allows your body to heal both mentally and physically fully. We can’t heal with half-assing recovery and rest. The understated benefits of mental health rest are just as important as the physical!

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Questions for you:

Do you take a break every year?

What are you currently training for?