A Rest Week

This week I’ve been listening.  Listening to my body and responding appropriately.  See a few weeks ago I was sore, not just your typical sore muscles but a different kind of sore.  My joints ached and my normal rest day just wasn’t doing the trick.  I focused on getting more rest and trying to recover. After our last teacher training session I was sore for days and worried I wouldn’t recover for the half marathon.  That’s when I decided it was time for a rest week.

Every now and then I take a rest week or two to give my body a chance to rest and recover completely. I listen to what it tells me.  This week that has been curling up mid afternoon in bed to rest for an hour, heading to bed early to get some extra rest at night and skipping the morning workout.

Wednesday I felt the need to get my sweat on and headed to yoga after work.  I opted for a short 1 hour vinyasa flow.  I came down into  child’s pose when I felt tired and didn’t over do it.  I was able to sweat and flow without stressing my body.  In fact, after my class my hamstrings and hips felt looser and I could tell the class helped flush out my sore muscles.

Beyond just the physical advantages of a rest week I love what it does for me mentally.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I’m a Type A personality with one speed, GO!  I never miss workouts, I always am on top of my to-do list and often do things because they need to be done not because I WANT to get them done.  It’s a blessing and curse really.  So when I give myself permission to enjoy a rest week and take the pressure away I find I really look forward to it and enjoy the time.  Watching TV without multitasking, reading a great book and taking a moment to just be all let me recharge my mental batteries.

This weekend I’ll be in the yoga studio for another teacher training session and I’m already itching to get on the mat. My legs are starting to crave a run and I know by next week I’ll be ready for the 5:30am wake up call.  Now that the B.A.A. Half is over and I’m not following a plan I’m looking forward to the free rein I have with my workouts. Some days will be run days, some days will be time on the mat in the warm studios and others will be alone in my living room practicing and practicing all that I learn on the weekends.  Winters in New England can be tough so this flexibility helps me to be successful with my workouts!

Rest is good.  Our bodies and minds need the break from time to time.  As the fall continues and races wind down, the nights and mornings get darker and the weather gets cooler its the perfect time to grant yourself permission to rest.  It’s the perfect time to rest those legs after all you summer miles and reset so you can train through the challenges of winter!

When was the last time you took a rest week?  Do you allow yourself to recover completely from time to time?

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12 thoughts on “A Rest Week

  1. Ana says:

    I just signed up for my first marathon and it will be in the middle of January. I’ve been running for almost two years and it seemed like I was up for the challenge. When I looked at the time frame everything looked perfect. However I forgot to account for the weather! How do you keep yourself motivated to continue training through harsh winter weather?

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    • liverunloveyoga says:

      I create a plan that’s manageable and just make a point to get out and do it. I actually really enjoyed training in the winter. It’s invigorating and you are alone outside for the most part so it’s pretty peaceful. I think you’ll find that the joy of it will keep you motivated!

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  2. Diane Mulholland says:

    This is a great post! I think I’ve mentioned before that we seem to have pretty similar personalities, I know exactly what you mean by that feeling you get after a rest when you’re just itching and ready to get back into it – it’s great. I have trouble with knowing when to rest though, I’m always worried that it’s just my ‘lazy me’ talking, and that really I ‘should’ be doing my practice. I’m not naturally keen to do exercise, so I find there’s a bit of a fine line between needing rest and just wanting to slack off!

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  3. Katie H. says:

    Ohhh, you’re smart! I don’t remember the last time I had a rest week…. Rest day, yes, but never more than that…. I bet my body would love it. Maybe after this next half-marathon, I’ll have to give it a try. Only, I think I’d probably do more Yoga than normal during that week, since Yoga is generally my “resting” activity (I do mostly restorative classes).

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  4. dnardi710 says:

    Good for you! I am a big believer in listening to your body and giving it a rest when you’re feeling sore, tired or over worked. I’m actually doing YTT right now also (my class meets every Tues, Weds, Thurs for 3 months) AND I’m training for a January marathon. I’m a little nervous about how my body is going to handle all of this (probably not the best timing on my part!), but I’m trying to be very aware of when I need to rein it in a little and give my body a break.

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  5. Hui says:

    I think allowing yourself rest time is also important so you don’t burn out. I have taken time off yoga, only to return to feel more enthused and finding more ease with poses that I didn’t have before. Great blog post though!

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