Lessons from Rest Day.

In case you didn’t gather this from my latest posts, I am not a huge fan of taking rest days. I love to be active as much as I can so it is hard for me to take it easy and take a full day off from working out. That, and there are plenty of hot guys who work and work out at the gym and I kind of look forward to showing off for chatting with them every day 😉 

Despite my reluctance to take an actual rest day, I knew it was time, and the fact that my marathon training schedule started with a rest/cross training day was perfect. I might as well embrace a day with zero exercise before a long and exciting 16 weeks of training!

Every single running book or magazine article talks about the benefits of rest days, I just choose to ignore them most of the time. When I really think hard though about why our bodies need rest, I feel a little guilty about constantly pushing mine. Imagine that every day you workout, you tear your muscle fibres a little bit, and you put stress on your bones and joints. A rest day helps the muscles rebuild and become even stronger than they were before. Avoiding rest days means that the muscle fibres don’t get a chance to rebuild and your chance of injury goes way up. Hmm… Sounds like the thousands of experts preaching about rest days were onto something.

It was a struggle to avoid the gym yesterday. My mom threatened to duct tape me to the wall and glue my running shoes to the floor. In order to avoid the temptation of going to the gym bright and early, maybe even getting a workout in before anyone even woke up at my house, I turned off my alarm and slept as long as I could. If I was going to take a rest day I was going to do it right. I didn’t get out of bed until 8 am (aka. practically noon to me). 

Things to do on a rest day instead of exercise: SLEEP.

Yesterday I reviewed my marathon training plan and even created a “Training” page right here on the blog so that you guys can track my training posts super easily! Just because I am taking a rest day from running doesn’t mean I can’t think about running, talk about running, and plan my next run!

Things to do on a rest day instead of exercise: PLAN your next run.

I made plenty of delicious food and drank 31895 cups of tea yesterday. I spent most of the day studying and doing homework so I had a constant stream of chai, passion, and cinnamon orange tea to keep me going. A rest day is the perfect time to rehydrate!

Things to do on a rest day instead of exercise: EAT. and DRINK.

In the evening my mom and I had our “Yoga for Athletes” class. We headed to our gym, got there a bit early, and I managed to convince her to walk a couple of laps around the track with me. She made sure to keep both eyes on me so that I wouldn’t start running or join in on the spin class that was happening when we got there. I was very proud of myself… the entire time, the treadmills were calling my name, and I didn’t even set foot on one 😉 After our brief walk we headed to an hour and fifteen minutes of muscle torture… FOAM ROLLING.

Things to do on a rest day instead of exercise: STRETCH AND FOAM ROLL.

It was a struggle to enjoy my day with no exercise but I know that sometimes, rest is better for my body than any workout would be. A few of the other things I did to NOT think about the fact that I had all day to workout but needed to take a rest day:

  • Read a book – maybe read something about why rest days are good for you… it will help put things into perspective when you understand that running for your entire lifetime means pacing your body for your entire lifetime!
  • Work – I spent a lot of time studying and catching up on school work… you know, the things I procrastinate when I go to the gym!
  • Watch your favourite show – New Girl has me hooked right now!
  • Email or write to someone – Valentines Day is just around the corner so I spent sometime writing out V-Day cards!
  • Clean your bathroom – HAHA, just kidding, that’s even worse than rest day.
  • Meal Prep – bake some muffins, slice up some vegetables, create your own trail mix, or just plan a few of your next meals!
I’m still learning how to take it easy some days, and it takes a lot for me to take an entire day off of exercise. I love to workout, challenge myself, and sweat a lot, so “rest” just isn’t in my vocabulary. Thankfully, I have a super supportive family that offers to duct tape me to the wall, hide my gym pass, and steal my running shoes… what would I do without them? 🙂

How often do YOU take a rest day?


  1. Lately I’ve been taking way more rest days than I should, but I started 15k training on Monday so I’m kicking it into gear. 🙂 My full rest days are on Fridays and active rest days are on Mondays, so I’m sure I’ll be loving every minute of them until I get back into the groove haha.

  2. Haha this is so me! I ran my farthest run ever on Sunday but I still was itching to go work out yesterday even though my legs clearly needed a bit of rest. I had to step away from the running blogs and read a book in order to get my mind off of it 🙂 My biggest fear is getting injured before Disney Princess (my first half ever!) so that helped me take a rest day! Next week is going to be tough with all of the “easy” days I have to give myself!

  3. I almost spit out the tea I was drinking when reading your blog – the part about cleaning the bathroom. Do you even know where the bathroom cleaners are??!! Got a good chuckle on that one. You don’t even have to read all of those books and articles about rest days, just listen to your Mother!

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